Updated: Dec 19, 2022
Long Beach, California – Help Me Help You will run a Nutrition Knights Healthy Habits program during the month of October at select Long Beach elementary schools to encourage 5th-grade students to adopt healthy eating and living routines.
As Long Beach residents attempt to return to normal with the commencement of the new school year amidst the resurgence of the COVID-19 pandemic, food insecurity continues to persist leaving many families unable to access affordable and nutritious food to feed their children. In LA County, Long Beach has the highest percentage of low-income households experiencing food insecurity. Families are often faced with not having enough to eat, missing meals, and being forced to choose between buying food or paying for other essential living expenses. It is estimated that at least 1 in 4 families suffers from food insecurity which according to can Food Research & Action Center (FRAC), is associated with poor health status, developmental risks, mental health problems, and poor educational outcomes.
To ensure children and families receive the best start to the new school year and to continue the fight against hunger in the Long Beach community, HMHY is rolling out the Nutrition Knights Healthy Habits program at Lincoln, Stevenson, Whittier, Oropeza, and Cesar Chavez elementary schools. Commencing October 13th at Lincoln Elementary School, the program will coincide with scheduled school food pantry dates and complement the month’s holiday themes of National Child Health Day, World Habit Day, World Food Day, and National Day of Eradication of Poverty.
The Nutrition Knights Healthy Habits program will include a classroom presentation on healthy eating guidelines, as well as the importance of water, exercise, sleep, and sunshine. Grade 5 students will receive Nutrition Knights gift bags with a Healthy Habits Daily Checklist, pencils, notepads, stickers, and fresh fruit. Families will be encouraged to attend the school food pantries to receive free fresh and packaged nutritious groceries as well as community service information. School children are invited to submit TikTok videos of their healthy lunch boxes for a chance to win two $100 Walmart/Target Gift Vouchers. Competition winners will be announced on November 10th, 2021.
All Long Beach residents in need are welcome at 8 HMHY food pantry locations. Eligible seniors who cannot access the food pantries are encouraged to enroll in the free Long Beach Food Pantry Delivery service. These services are provided with the assistance of No Kid Hungry, City of Long Beach, United Way, and individual donations. “Together we are committed to improving lives on an individual and community level with access to essential services”, said Zina Washington, HMHY Executive Director. For HMHY school and community food pantry schedules, visit http://www.helpmehelpu.org/food-pantry
Established in 2002, Help Me Help You is a 501(c)(3) community-based nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the lives of those in need by increasing access to food, public benefits, economic security, and social security benefits. HMHY provides essential services to more than 30,000 individuals annually, focusing on seniors; children; single mothers; disabled individuals; veterans; and the homeless. These services work to reduce hunger and poverty, improve nutrition and health, boost family economic security, as well as motivate and transition residents from lives of poverty to self-sufficiency.