Healing Meals is a Gift of Love for Families with Ill Children and Seniors in Need
Healing Meals is the first of its kind nutritious food gifting program currently available in Bergen and Passaic Counties in New Jersey. Healing Meals provides nutritious meals for families with children undergoing treatment for cancer, serious blood disorders and sickle cell anemia distributed through Tomorrows Children’s Fund (TCF) at Hackensack University Medical Center and through Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Program at St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital, Paterson, NJ. Now we have expanded our Healing Meals program to include seniors in need living at Ridgecrest Senior Housing and S.H.A.R.E (Senior Housing Association of Ridgewood and Envrions) Independent Living for Active Seniors located in Ridgewood, NJ.
Registered Dietitian and HealthBarn Foundation, Director Stacey Antine hand selected the nutritious recipes from APPETITE FOR LIFE. Community and student volunteers from the Bergen County Academies’ Healing Meals Club in Hackensack prepare the recipes at No Fuss Lunch’s commercial kitchen using fresh, natural and organic foods donated weekly by Whole Foods Market Bergen County locations and from b.good restaurant, Ridgewood, NJ. HealthBarn Foundation purchases additional ingredients and packaging through private donations.
“Helping thousands of families eat healthy and personally dealing with cancer in my family, I knew the only way to help children get good nutrition during this stressful time of treatment was to prepare meals and make them readily available for families,” says Stacey Antine, Director, HealthBarn Foundation.
Children with cancer, serious blood disorders and sickle cell anemia have heightened nutritional needs and may lack access to nutritionally healthy meals during the stressful time of treatment. Healing Meals are selected by Stacey for their nutritional value as well as their popularity with children and families. The meal items include: breakfast, soups, dinner choices and desserts packaged fresh and then, frozen in servings of four for the whole family. Each meal is labelled with nutritional information, heating instructions and expiration date.
“Assess to healthy food is important at all ages, including seniors who have unique nutritional needs and challenges from health conditions to limited functional abilities that need to be considered, that’s why we are collaborating with Ridgecrest and S.H.A.R.E to provide the nutrition they need,” added Antine.
These nutritious meals are distributed through Tomorrows Children’s Fund at Hackensack University Medical Center and St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital as families leave the clinic after a long day of treatment. By making the meals readily available to families through the hospital sets the bar high for quality and safety and creates a replicator model for hospitals across the country.
Healing Meals are prepared by community and student volunteers from Bergen Academies’ Healing Meals Club and creates an avenue people to interactively learn about nutrition while doing a good deed and cooking for one another. The nutritious recipes are prepared at No Fuss Lunch’s commercial kitchen in Hawthorne, NJ. Whole Foods Market Bergen County locations and Ridgewood’s b.good restaurant are donating ingredients to ensure the use of high quality, natural and organic ingredients for the gift of Healing Meals to ill children and their families.
If you want to get involved with Healing Meals or have any questions, please email [email protected].