Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Boys & Girls Club of Salem to Serve Fresh n' Local Lunches

Every day of the summer and every afternoon during the school year, the Boys & Girls Club of Salem, Marion & Polk Counties provides free lunch to children and youth throughout Salem and Keizer. For many of the youth, this may be the only substantial meal they receive during the summer or after school.

This year, the organization set a goal to have a meal program that provides fresh and healthy food as well as food and nutrition education. To meet their goal, the Boys & Girls Club is joining forces with Organic Fresh Fingers.

Leaders at the Club realized that their meal program didn't reflect the holistic approach that they strive for in all areas of their program, and decided it was time to make a change. “We wanted to offer our Club members meals that were filling and good for them and that would teach them what a balanced, nutritious meal looks and tastes like,” said Sue Bloom, Director of Operations. “The hot meals allow us to serve comfort food to the youth and replicate a family-style meal as they sit down and eat together.”

Organic Fresh Fingers, Inc. will provide a Fresh n' Local meal program to the Boys & Girls Club starting in September. Lunches will be hot, handmade entrees served with fresh, organic fruits and vegetables every day.

“I am very excited about getting hot meals in the fall because I really enjoyed the pot pie and am looking forward to eating some more,” said Tamra, a ten year old member of the Swegle Branch in Salem.

The program also includes a strong educational component, including an educational curriculum, field trips to local farms and orchards, and assisting with on-site gardens.

“We are most excited about the educational aspect of the program,” said Tim Sinatra, Executive Director of the Boys & Girls Club of Salem, Marion and Polk Counties. “We really wanted to take a 360 degree approach to meals and nutrition, and Organic Fresh Fingers is able to provide us the comprehensive program we are looking for.”

“We are delighted to partner with the Boys & Girls Club of Salem,” said CEO and President of Organic Fresh Fingers, Evann Remington. “It is our belief that every child should be able to eat fresh, healthy food, and we can't wait to start serving the Boys & Girls Club. We're looking forward to taking the youth on field trips to local farms and teaching them about healthy food choices.”

The Boys & Girls Club serves approximately 10,500 youth in Marion and Polk Counties through their Clubs, athletics, and outreach programs. Last year, the Clubs served 81,730 meals and snacks. All youth from first to twelfth grade are welcome to become a member.

Organic Fresh Fingers, Inc. works with schools, non-profit organizations and childcare facilities to provide fresh, local, natural and organic hot lunch programs.