The HEALTHY SNACKS program provides a protein-filled snack and models healthy food choices.
The Healthy Snacks Program was started in January of 2014 to specifically serve children attending at the PEP2 location up near the pineapple fields. Many of these children come from extremely poor families and experience daily food insecurity. The reality though is that many children in each of our three locations are arriving hungry and so in early 2015 the program expanded. We have been attempting to provide healthy snacks to all of our students; however, we initially had to scale back on the amount of food provided due to the increased number of children served.
For 2016-17-18 our donors have made it possible to ramp up the quantity and quality of the food provided but ongoing donations are always needed since more and more children are attending the programs. It is still a struggle to meet the need and provide for all of the children who attend, and at this time (2018), we are not yet able to provide a snack for the teen program. If you’re able to help, a monthly donation of even $10 would make a true impact!
Some of the food is prepared by local single-mom entrepreneurs and our volunteers prepare some as well. The rules are (1) No MSG /monosodium glutamate, (2) No High Fructose Corn Syrup and/or sugar (3) No food dyes.
A former volunteer, now a nutritionist, designs recipes that include nutritionally dense foods that are locally available. She shares a vision with HCA to include local community members in preparing these snacks to help teach about healthy eating while creating a sustainable healthy snack program. The children truly appreciate the snacks and it has a direct effect on their work and attendance in our programs, and at school as well. Volunteers should talk with their project manager to find out when they are on the schedule to help prep the healthy snacks.