Program provides free meals for kids, healthy food for community

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Friday, June 22, 2018
Program provides free meals for kids, healthy food for community
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Program provides free meals for kids, healthy food for community. Gray Hall reports during Action News at 4pm on June 22, 2018.

BRISTOL, Pa. (WPVI) -- For Bucks County residents like the Evans family, the summer months can be challenging financially to find a nutritious meal.

School is out and it's up to mom to make sure the family's six kids are eating properly. That's where programs like Fresh Connect make a world of difference.

"I think it is important and it gives kids the opportunity to try different vegetables that they have never tried before and I think it's great for the community," Jane Evans said. "It helps everyone out who is struggling and having a hard time paying for groceries every month."

Every week, around the year, Fresh Connect partners with several other organizations to provide fresh produce to families in need.

An added bonus this summer: Thier partner, hunger relief non-profit Philabundance, is providing boxed lunches for children.

Organizers are encouraging those in need to participate in the program, and hoping others will find ways to help out.

"It may be cheaper to get pasta, dry goods, and canned goods, but nutritious fruits and vegetables are a lot more expensive and people will do without if they can't afford them. So we want to make sure that they have those available to them. They can get a selection here every single week throughout the year," said Eileen Albillar with Bucks County Opportunity Council.

"There are ways to volunteer, you can come and volunteer at Fresh Connect or a Fresh for All, and distribute produce to people in need, or you can go and donate. We have a donation page and every dollar counts. One dollar can make two meals for us. So any donation really does matter," said Samantha Retamar with Philabundance

Those who show up to sites like the one in Bristol won't find any canned or processed food. This is all about healthy eating: those in need walk away with fruits and veggies and even recipes on how to make the most of the healthy giveaway.

"Sometimes you can't afford it in the grocery store, so this is another resource you can look for where you can get food and I can teach my kids how to eat healthy and teach them how to eat something different,' said AnnMarie Karluah.

"It is important for this community so people can get the vegetables and learn to eat right, cut out that junk food... this is wholesome vegetables, it's nutrition value and you can teach your children how to eat properly and the produce is free," said Eugenie Edwards.

Another good thing about this program: no one is ever turned away.

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