On December 13, 2016, Groceryships celebrated their largest graduation ceremony ever! Groceryships graduated 10 groups with over 80 group participants! Over a 5-month period, group participants received nutrition education classes, food demonstrations of healthy recipes, and grocery scholarships in the form of a gift card or produce boxes. Some of the powerful transformations shared by participants in their groups included weight loss, increased self-esteem, increased consumption of fruits & vegetables, & decreased levels of blood glucose and cholesterol. Below are participant testimonies shared by their group leaders:
“Maria Solorio shared how once she began the Groceryships curriculum she started making changes in her eating habits. Later she involved her whole family and for months later her husband diminished his consumption of meat to only two times per week whereas before, she would have to cook meat for him every day. She also got into the habit of eating salads; she didn’t like salad before. Maria has lost a lot of the weight she gained during her pregnancy. Her doctor had informed her that she was retaining a lot of water and therefore was preventing her from shedding weight, but now that she’s changed her eating habits the weight has been dropping. Now, Maria has a lot of energy and her self-esteem has increased. She thanks Groceryships for the Farmers Market vouchers because she has been able to purchase healthier foods without affecting her budget.”
“Throughout the entire program, Delfina’s husband, Mr. Mario Lopez, attended classes and got to learn a lot. He shared with the group that he was so happy for all the food changes his wife had made in their household. He also had the opportunity to talk to some of his coworkers of some of things he has learned in class. They are thankful for the information he has shared with them and encourage him to keep on learning so he can continue sharing more insights and knowledge on nutrition with them.”
Participants also had the opportunity to share with graduation attendees what Groceryships meant to them through posters. Graduates paraded into the auditorium holding posters they created expressing how participating in the Groceryships program had impacted their lives and or of their families.
The ceremony was contained with emotion and inspiration. Graduates received some inspiring words from Groceryships founder, Sam Polk, as well as from group leaders and graduates.
Graduates received recognition for their 5-month commitment by receiving a program certificate of completion and a Groceryships gift bag. After they received their certificate they were given a leaf, that contained one word that described what Groceryships meant to them, to hang on the Groceryships family tree symbolizing their life-long bond to the Groceryships.
Groceryships culminated the ceremony by recognizing the leadership and hard work of its group leaders. Without the group leaders, Groceryships groups would not be possible. They work tirelessly to ensure each group runs effectively and efficiently, and ensures our group participant receive a great experience in a safe group environment.
Groceryships would like to give a special thanks to all the volunteers, staff, and sponsors that helped to make this celebration possible. Thank you for your time and contributions!