A Groceryship is a scholarship for groceries. We provide a comprehensive program of nutrition education and emotional support, along with scholarships for groceries to empower families to increase health by incorporating more healthful foods into their diets. While enrolled in Groceryships, families receive support on three levels:
Educational — weekly meetings to learn nutrition, healthy cooking and shopping skills
Economic — weekly gift cards or fresh, organic produce enabling families to experiment with new nutritious, whole foods
Building Community — group support, focused on emotional eating, overcoming food addiction, and building a healthy communities
Additional resources are provided to participants during the program:
- Documentaries about food and health (Forks Over Knives, Food Inc., etc.)
- Wellness toolkit: food journal, healthy recipes, exercise strategies
- Medical screenings and ongoing tracking of health metrics such as Self-Esteem and BMI
Our 20-week program consists of weekly 2 hour meetings. In the first hour families learn the cooking, nutrition, and shopping skills necessary to increase the amounts of whole, plant-foods they eat. They learn how to prepare vegetables, make fruit/vegetable shakes, add fruit/vegetables into other foods, and otherwise prepare food in a healthy manner. They also learn skills on how to navigate an unhealthy food environment.
The second hour of each weekly meeting is structured as a support group, where we discuss the challenges and struggles of adopting a healthier diet in such an unhealthy environment. We discuss things like addictive foods (and the associated withdrawal symptoms), emotional eating, and family-specific belief systems around food. But the power of this sharing circle is less in the subjects we discuss, than in the manner in which we discuss them. We endeavor to create a safe, sacred space, where every person is respected and honored. No advice or cross-talk is allowed. Rather, this is a time where people can share what is really going on in their lives to a group of supportive listeners.