Healing Meals Program
Imagine you are leaving the hospital after receiving treatment, walking into your home, you are tired, you know you need to eat healthily, but you have little desire or capacity to make anything for yourself or your family. Now imagine a friendly volunteer with a warm smile delivering directly to your door, some wonderful Nourishing Broth and healing meals to help you rebuild your strength.
Our founder, Sarah Leathers has always been driven to help a neighbor in need. Graduating from The Institute for Integrative Nutrition as a Certified Health and Wellness Coach, deepened her understanding that good food really can be medicine. So, while most people would bring a casserole to a family struggling with an illness, Sarah would bring Nourishing Broth & Nourishing Connections Cookbook.
In the Fall of 2015, Sarah received a call from the Ceres Community Project, an organization dedicated to supporting people struggling with a serious health challenges, letting her know that she was accepted at the one-week affiliate training class. It was now time for her to put a team together and take her passion to help others to the next level. She made three phone calls (Ellen Palmer, Emily Safino, Ellen Deutsch) and each woman immediately said, “I’m in, I’ll be on your team.” By the Spring of 2016, Healing Meals Community Foundation was officially launched.
Healing Meals was built on three certainties:
Nutrient-rich food is a necessary part of a person’s overall well-being.
Young people must be central participants in shaping our collective future.
When individuals are linked to their community, they have an overall sense of connection.
Healing Meals nourishes with love. We believe that food is medicine, so we prepare and deliver nutritious meals that support healing for people recovering from acute health issues. The Healing Meals kitchen brings together youth and adult volunteers in a welcoming place where cross-generational creativity and respect forms the foundation of our culture. Balancing ‘old-fashioned’ community values and recognition of the relationship between nutrition and healing, we support families facing a health crisis with healthy, organic meals.
Our current program provides meals for a three-month period enabling our clients to enjoy delicious, nutrient-rich meals without the work or stress of buying and preparing meals. That period is also the amount of time needed to support our client’s health when it is most compromised, when their appetite is lacking yet their need for nutrient-rich food is great. We have found that eating enough healthy foods during this time can increase the effectiveness of medications and improve overall quality of life.
While receiving Healing Meals food, our clients also have the opportunity to learn about nutrition and wellness. We educate our clients so that as they transition off our meals, they will be better equipped to create nutrient-rich meals in their own homes. Through our ‘NEW Book’ (Nutrition Education Wellness workbook series) we anticipate our clients will strengthen their knowledge and desire to continue to eat healthy food as well as have lifestyle changing benefits to enhance their body/mind connection. This knowledge of ‘Food is Medicine’ gives clients the opportunity to alter the paradigm of unhealthy eating and in-turn improve health outcomes for generations to come.
To learn more, please take a look at this 90-second video created by Alvaro de la Cruz