FCS partners with Foodtown to promote Healthy Snacks

Healthy Snack Packs, courtesy Foodtown

End-of-year school celebrations don’t have to include sugary snacks! Students enrolled in our Healthy Buddies program know that healthy treats are not only good to eat, they are good for you!

This year, thanks to a generous donation from Foodtown, Healthy Buddies students were treated to healthy “snack packs” at their end-of-year party. The packs contained two pieces of fruit, a nut-free granola bar and a bottle of water — all “Go” foods, that is, foods children are encouraged to eat almost anytime. Foods heavier in sugar and fat content are called “Slow” and “Whoa” foods under the evidence-based curriculum shared through Healthy Buddies.

FCS developed RSVP (Retired and Senior Volunteer Program) Healthy Buddies in response to the startling increase in childhood obesity nationwide and the growing numbers of young children and adolescents who are at-risk for obesity here in New Jersey. Mimicking the format of our RSVP Reading Buddies childhood literacy program, Healthy Buddies partners adult volunteers in the classroom with third and fourth grade students to help them develop the knowledge, skills, attitudes and behaviors needed to maintain and enjoy a healthy lifestyle. Specially trained volunteers guide students in making healthy choices. This unique partnership helps promote healthy lifestyle experiences that can be shared across generations, bringing empathy and compassion to a topic sometimes fraught with anxiety and frustration.

Healthy Buddies volunteers w/ FCS Volunteer Services Director Samantha White (center)

Healthy Buddies, which began in two underserved Monmouth County schools in the 2012-2013 school year, currently serves 124 students in three Monmouth County public schools, including Bradley Beach, Green Grove in Neptune and Ocean Avenue in Middletown. Volunteers do not have to have experience teaching in a classroom, just the interest and enthusiasm to share their knowledge and skills with children. If you are interested in learning more about Healthy Buddies or to volunteer, contact Marlena Scarola at mscarola@fcsmonmouth.org or call 732-222-9111 extension 151.