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United Way of Bucks County & Every90Minutes.org

 

United Way of Bucks County

for More Information on What They Do & How You Can Help, Please Visit ...

http://www.uwbucks.org

The Doylestown Office of Weidel Realtors recently created & sponsored a Sing Your ALS Off karaoke event to help raise money & awareness for ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease).  ALS has a personal impact on many of the Weidel team members as recently, Barbara Smith's, prior Weidel General Sales Manager & prior Doylestowm manager's son, Jason age 36 was diagnosed with ALS.

The Doylestown Office has made it their personal mission to help support the Smith family & those diagnosed with ALS.  The event, held at The Standard Club in Doylestown was created by the ALS platform, every90minutes.org, to help find a cure for the disease.

The Sing Your ALS Off event was generously supported by the resident & business communities to such a degree that over 350 attendees enjoyed an night of food, drink, silent auctions, 50/50 raffles & karaoke raising over $21,000 in one evening!

All of the donations from the evening's event were given to both the Jason Smith ALS fund and the ALS Association, helping to raise awareness, find a cure and support the Smith family with specific medical needs.  Please Visit ... www.every90minutes.org  for more information.

ALS Icebucket Challenge

 

Fresh Connect Partner Spotlight – St. Mary Medical Center

St. Mary Medical Center’s Families Living Well Program’s mission is to empower children and their families in Bucks County with the tools to make choices that lead to better, healthier lifestyles. Families Living Well encourages: eating healthfully, getting more active, believing in yourself. If you eat healthy, are more active, and believe in yourself, you will become healthier.

St. Mary Medical Center has developed outreach programs to address the growing obesity epidemic in children and their increased risk for chronic diseases. They believe that by teaching the importance of eating healthier and moving more at an early age, we can reduce the incidence of diabetes, heart disease, asthma, and certain types of cancer in the community. They partner with school districts, local farm programs, and other area recreational sites to bring these programs to families throughout Bucks County. https://www.stmaryhealthcare.org/flw

St. Mary Medical Center Families Living Well Program uses these strategies within Fresh Connect – a free farm market bringing fresh, healthy food to our hungry neighbors in Bucks County. Fresh Connect is a collaboration of Bucks County Opportunity Council, Philabundance, Rolling Harvest Food Rescue and St. Mary Medical Center, with funding provided by United Way of Bucks County. JoAnn Dorr, Families Living Well program manager at St. Mary Medical Center says “The Fresh Connect program has brought together a community partnership which continues to grow and expand to meet the food security needs of the community. The Fresh Connect program demonstrates the impact of partners working and collaborating together to address a community need and to assist neighbors in living healthier lives.  Fresh Connect validates the extent of food insecurity in Bucks County.”

The St. Mary team provides nutritional education to families participating in the program. They coach families on how to best use the produce they are receiving by providing recipes and samples of food. This is a good way to introduce new foods to younger families who may not be familiar with an array of vegetables or how to go about cooking them. St. Mary was given the opportunity to contribute a twenty four foot refrigerated truck for transporting produce to Fresh Connect sites and pantries through capitol legacy funding from Trinity Health.

Dorr explained that, “Food insecurity affects people of all age, race and health status in Bucks County.  Health promotion and disease prevention occur by improving access to healthier options such as a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, a recipe, and recipe tasting.  The health equity of the community improves with every week Fresh Connect delivers fresh produce!  St. Mary’s mission is to improve the health and wellness of the community.”

Fresh Connect Partner Spotlight – Rolling Harvest Food Rescue

Since 2010, Rolling Harvest Food Rescue has partnered with local farmers, making it easy for them to share their surplus fresh, healthy produce and proteins with the food-insecure communities in which they live. Their many dedicated volunteers glean produce directly from the farm partners’ fields, help with pick-up and delivery from 35 farms and food producers, and assist with weekly distributions to more than 50 hunger relief sites. www.RollingHarvest.org

Rolling Harvest’s mission is to increase access to donated fresh produce and other healthy foods for area hunger-relief sites that serve the at-risk, food-insecure population by providing local farmers and food producers with free, effective delivery and distribution.

Being a part of Fresh Connect– a free farmer’s market that brings fresh, healthy food to our hungry neighbors in Bucks County, is one way that Rolling harvest fulfills their mission. Fresh Connect provides reliable and much needed food to the 57,000 Bucks County residents facing hunger, 32% of whom are children. With funding provided by United Way of Bucks CountyFresh Connect is a collaboration of Bucks County Opportunity CouncilPhilabundanceRolling Harvest Food Rescue and St. Mary Medical Center.

Rolling Harvest Food Rescue’s role in the collaborative is to coordinate with Bucks County Opportunity Council to share the bounty from Rolling Harvest’s partner local farms and food producers. They also provide Nutrition Education on-site for Fresh Connect recipients, offering tasting samples of that week’s produce distributions, nutrition tips, and recipes in English and Spanish. Founder and Executive Director Cathy Snyder says, “Our farm partners love knowing that the nutritious produce they share is now going to benefit even more families in need in Bucks County.” Snyder added, “Based on feedback so far, it is so encouraging to see the enthusiasm with which our recipients greet the Fresh Connect model. It seems to be having such a positive influence on families’ overall health and enjoyment.”

Fresh Connect Partner Spotlight – Bucks County Opportunity Council

Bucks County Opportunity Council (BCOC) plays an integral role in Fresh Connect–a free farmer’s market that brings fresh, healthy food to our hungry neighbors in Bucks County. Fresh Connect returns to the same location on the same day at the same time each week, providing reliable and needed food to the 57,000 Bucks County residents facing hunger, 32% of whom are children. With funding provided by United Way of Bucks County, Fresh Connect is a collaboration of Bucks County Opportunity Council, Philabundance, Rolling Harvest Food Rescue and St. Mary Medical Center.

Bucks County Opportunity Council’s mission is to reduce poverty and to promote economic self-sufficiency. They help people overcome barriers as they work towards financial independence. BCOC provides counseling and financial assistance; they move homeless individuals and families into permanent safe housing; they prevent eviction and utility shutoff; they help people in their time of need. They also manage 27 food distribution sites throughout Bucks County made up of local food pantries and they provide free tax preparation for moderate and low-income people.

Their services are based on the principle that empowering people with the education, training, resources, and skills necessary to permanently leave poverty is far more beneficial than helping them cope with poverty. They work closely with human services organizations, faith-based organizations, and others to address local needs and issues affecting low-income individuals and families. www.bcoc.org.

Heather  Foor, Food Program Manager at BCOC explained, “The Fresh Connect program is providing healthy choices for our residents in need. Many of those attending each week are people who fall in the meal gap, they make too much to qualify for federal food assistance, but they make too little to get by. I hear over and over again that people attending each week are feeling better from eating these healthy foods because they were bypassing them altogether before this program was available.”

The team at BCOC is responsible for many aspects of this program. From planning and implementing all of the logistics to coordinating and organizing groups of dedicated volunteers to distribute food each week. They also track and collect all of the data that is used from participants in the program including surveys and demographic information.

Without the team at BCOC, Fresh Connect wouldn’t be possible. They work hard every single day to ensure that this program happens each week. BCOC makes sure that it happens seamlessly and that the experience is meaningful and pleasant for both the volunteers and recipients.

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