By Blue Cross/Blue Shield of RI
Healthy Foods, Healthy Families (HFHF) is a community nutrition education program run by Farm Fresh RI, a non-profit based out of Pawtucket that is growing a local food system that values the environment, health and quality of life of RI farmers and eaters. HFHF works specifically to increase healthy food access by empowering low-income families with the tools to shop for and cook fresh, healthy, and local foods. HFHF is a comprehensive nutrition education program that combines tastings, education, and financial incentives that provide the fundamental knowledge and resources for families to access and eat healthy foods. The program runs from JulyOctober at 6 outdoor farmers markets in the state and serves over 400 families each year.
2014 STATISTICS 400 low-income families learned about local, nutritious food options at six neighborhood farmers markets and one community center from July to October.
46% of families visited the farmers market 9+ times and received over $60 each to purchase local produce, helping to supplement tight budgets and increase access to healthy foods
By participating in interactive food-based nutrition lessons and receiving incentives, families built healthy habits together: 81% of families reported increased familiarity with different fruits and veggies
94% of families increased their fruit and vegetable consumption as a result of participating in the program. “My family is eating more fruits and vegetables as a result of the program”
Healthy Foods, Healthy Families (HFHF) runs for 17 weeks and features a bilingual and interactive curriculum. Examples of our food-based nutrition lessons include:
• Vegetables are Plant Parts We Eat
• The Benefits of Local Food: Where Does My Food Come From?
• The Colors of Health: How Eating a Rainbow of Colors is best for My Body
• Cooking with Kids
Healthy Foods, Healthy Families is made possible by: Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Rhode Island, Newman’s Own Foundation, Fresh Sound Foundation, and van Beuran Charitable Foundation
Recipe from HFHF Spanish Cucumber Salad
2 cucumbers, washed, peeled and cut into thick slices
2 tomatoes, sliced each into
½ medium onion, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar or (red wine vinegar)
6 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons pepper or (cayenne pepper)
1 tablespoon sunflower seeds, roasted
1 cup fresh Nata de cantabria cheese or other cheese, in small cubes (optional)
PREPARATION Gather all ingredients. In a large mixing bowl, combine ingredients and mix until well combined. Garnish with roasted sunflower seeds or cheese. Keep refrigerated until serving time. Serve cold.