Worcester Families Feeding Families

Worcester Families Feeding Families

From Jessica Reyes

Worcester Families Feeding Families is running a Charity fundraiser to launch an innovative meals program for our well deserved senior citizens of Worcester that is delicious, nutritious and culturally responsive.

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Worcester Families Feeding Families is running a Charity fundraiser to launch an innovative meals program for our well deserved senior citizens of Worcester! No gift is too big or too small. Can you believe that with this program your gift of $100 will provide culturally competent and nutritious meals for one month?

WFFF is an organization under the 501c3 status of Christian Community Church and your gift is a tax deductible charitable contribution.

The Worcester Families Feeding Families seeks to fundraise in support of both our direct service Foods and Nutrition of Diverse Cultures program as well as a strategic planning process for our new and growing organization. We are grateful for the support we received from the Central Massachusetts Agency on Aging, Social Equity Access Fund and members of the Worcester Mutual Aid in early 2021 that continues to help put food on the tables of those in need while supporting local chefs and restaurants.  We believe this project will enhance the quality of life of elders and their caregivers by providing a food provision that is culturally responsive to a diverse city such as Worcester.  Our organization, established in 2020, grew out of a gap in services during the pandemic of low barrier culturally responsive food resources benefiting the seniors and elders community.  We are a BIPOC led organization with deep community connections in the Main South and Grafton Hill neighborhoods and bring a unique and valuable perspective to the food insecurity service landscape. We launched our organization with our Global Senior Meals and Meal Kits program. This program works by  allowing the recipient to choose meals that are part of their day-to-day nutritional norm. We  provide culturally appropriate perishable and non-perishable foods including dairy products, fresh fruits and vegetables, baked goods, canned goods, dried goods, frozen meats and more, during typical “food pantry” off hours and weekends.  We receive both direct referrals as well as through Catholic Charities where we also coordinate the delivery of pantry goods to COVID positive families two days a week on a charity basis during regular business hours.  In June of 2021 we are launching a new partnership with a local fitness club where we will be fostering inclusiveness to advance multicultural competency within comprehensive wellness best practices and service delivery. Systematically integrate diversity and multicultural competency within the operations and programmatic structure of the club. Develop initiatives, programs and continuing education focused on diversity and wellness to address differences related to: race, ethnicity, class, gender, age, country of origin, culture, political, religious and other affiliations, language, sexual orientation, as well as physical and cognitive abilities and other human differences.The project for which we request funds will make a difference in the lives of our culturally diverse elders by growing the Nutrition Program to meet the ethnic and cultural food preferences of the participants. Ethnic and religious customs are two of the many factors that influence our food preferences. Understanding the "culture" and its relationship to food preferences will help Nutrition Programs improve the quality of their services. We at Worcester Families Feeding Families strongly believe that nutrition programs should embrace their participants' diversity and focus attention on customer satisfaction. Our expansion plan for which we are requesting funding include that Worcester Families Feeding Families will design menus for the Nutrition Program that will consider the cultural food preferences of all program participants. Today, the menus often contain common ethnic foods like spaghetti and lasagna; chow mein and stir-fry beef and broccoli; corned beef and cabbage; fried chicken and sweet potatoes. However, there may be many entrees and side dishes representative of other cultures that are often overlooked. The good feeling participants have when served favorite ethnic foods partly comes from the recognition that their cultural preferences are important and respected.  The Older Americans Act encourages outreach to underserved and isolated populations in greatest social and economic need, to members of ethnic and racial minority communities and to those over age 60.  In response to this call and the increasing members of minority, Programs must change in order to improve the health of all citizens. To this end, Nutrition Programs need to provide culturally competent services and staff need to be culturally sensitive. Providing culturally appropriate, nutritious, high quality and tasty meals can be an effective outreach effort to bring in the target population, improve customer satisfaction, promote health and reduce health disparities.The project will take about 6 months and we expect the following concrete results: [a] The completion of a comprehensive assessment of the diverse community nutritional needs through community input sessions[b] The production of a pilot cultural responsive menu[c] A SWAT analysis with a focus on partnership development and collaboration of the growth of Worcester Families Feeding FamiliesWe will be glad to submit a full proposal with additional information for your further review. Thank you for your continued support and valued partnership.

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