Apple a Day Healthy Living Initiative™
The Apple a Day Healthy Living Initiative™ is the Junior League of Philadelphia, Inc.’s multi-tiered community initiative with the goal of creating a positive impact on the health and wellness of adults and children in the Greater Philadelphia area. Apple a Day™ programming encompasses both interactive educational curriculum and a focus on increasing the region’s capacity to supply and distribute healthy food to families in need. Please refer to our current brochure for more details on our Apple a Day Healthy Living Initiative™.
Case for Support
- Across the country, 23.5 million Americans-including 6.5 million children-live in under served communities that do not have readily available fresh foods at reasonable prices.
- Pennsylvania’s First Congressional District ranks fourth-highest for food hardship int he U.S. according to a new report released by the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC).
- Philadelphia County has a high prevalence of adult obesity (35.1%), diabetes (11.9%), hypertension (33.4%), and heart disease (4.5%) among the counties containing the 10 largest cities in the country.
- In 2008, nearly two-thirds of Philadelphia County adults and half of the children were overweight or obese.
The League is committed to combating this trend through the Apple a Day™ initiative with programming that strategically pairs access with education. Programming centers around increased access to healthy food, nutritional awareness, meal preparation on a budget, and making healthy choices. All of our efforts are focused on building a healthier and happier Philadelphia community.
The JLP aims to build a healthier and happier Philadelphia community by FEEDing families:
- FACILITATE increased access to fresh produce and combat malnutrition and epidemic hunger through a network of community partners.
- EDUCATE children and adults to experience the connection between healthy eating and healthy living through hands-on nutrition and exercise education programs.
- EMPOWER individuals to become advocates for their own health and well being by providing free health and wellness screenings.
- DISTRIBUTE fresh produce in areas classified as food deserts so that adults and children in our community will live longer, healthier, and happier lives.
- Empowering You Health Fair: The JLP promotes healthy living awareness and education by holding an Empowering You Health Fair at Lankenau Medical Center each spring. This health fair will be different from most health fairs, as it focuses on empowering individuals and families to take charge of their health instead of merely providing access to a myriad of local vendors.
- Kids in the Kitchen®: The goal of the Junior League’s Kids in the Kitchen initiative, which is supported by The Association of Junior Leagues International, Inc. and its member Leagues, is to empower youth to make healthy lifestyle choices and help reverse the growth of childhood obesity and its associated health issues.
- Food to Families: JLP volunteers run a monthly program to engage and educate children ages 8-14 on subjects of healthy eating, gardening, and basic cooking skills to create healthy meals from what is in the “share” that month. During the 2014-2015 league year, the JLP helped to prepare over 2,800 boxes of food for distribution to needy families in Philadelphia.
- Greener Partners: Greener Partners’ mission is to strengthen community health through food, farms, and education. Founded in 2008, Greener Partners connects communities in Philadelphia to healthy food, vibrant farms, and fun, hands-on educational experiences. Greener Partners’ programs provide free fruits and vegetables, educate youth and families about growing and cooking healthy food, strengthen urban gardens, and support health care professionals through food is medicine initiatives. By partnering with schools, health care centers, and community organizations, we connect people of all ages to healthy food.
- SHARE Food Program: The SHARE Food Program is a nonprofit organization which serves a regional network of community organizations engaged in food distribution, education, and advocacy.
- Lankenau Medical Center: Lankenau Medical Center, a part of Main Line Health, is a leading tertiary care center, a teaching hospital, and research institute in the Philadelphia region. Partnering with Lankenau Medical Center, the JLP completed the second year of its Empowering You Health Fair: a free event providing health screenings, cooking demonstrations and speakers on important health issues. In its first year, the health fair impacted approximately 70 community members; in its second year, the number jumped to 170 community members with an expectation that the event will continue to grow.
- Smith Memorial Playground and Playhouse: Located in East Fairmount Park, Smith Memorial Playground and Playhouse provides opportunities for unstructured creative play for children 10 and under. Smith offers free family admission, partners with community organizations to reach a diverse audience, and advocates the important of play.
- The Community Center at Visitation: The Community Center at Visitation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, located in the Kensington neighborhood of Philadelphia. It provides support and access to social services to improve educational and employment opportunities. In addition, its food pantry supplies healthy food options for patrons suffering from food scarcity. Health screening and mentoring for the Center’s at-risk population focuses on cardiovascular, diabetes, obesity, and addiction-related afflictions. The Center wants to inspire and provide the tools for individuals to learn new skills and become better professionals, family, and community members. In doing so, the Center believes that it will share a sense of belonging to a community everyone respects, deserves, and loves.