Fresh Minds is a Junior League of Jacksonville program that encompasses volunteer support to promote the availability of healthy food and nutritional education to Jacksonville families living in Health Zone 1. By June 1st 2023, Fresh Minds will have provided more than 17,460 meals to families in need living in Duval County.
Each month, we provide one meal kit plus five ready-to-eat meals to 32 families of four to Sanctuary on 8th and one meal kit to 24 families at Sulzbacher Village. The meal kits include all ingredients and recipes needed for the family to cook together, while the ready-to-eat meals can be prepared by a child in five mins or less. All of our meals adhere to the following guidelines:
- The meals must be easily repeatable, while offering variety each month. Our goal is to promote healthy meals not just by offering one single meal, but rather by providing families new, affordable dishes to try and incorporate into their routines.
- The ingredients must not be obscure, but easily found in a local supermarket.
- The meals must be able to be prepared in 30 mins or less.
- All meals must incorporate fresh ingredients.
- All meals must be nutritious.
- All meals must be family friendly, but innovative. We want our meals to be enjoyed by all ages while also making them flavorful and interesting.
- The meals must be filling.
- All meals must stay under $3.00 for meal kit meals and $2.25 for ready to eat meals.
As of August 2022, we are donating more than 1870 volunteer hours to this program per League year.Volunteers have created meals ranging from black-eyed pea salad and tofu scramble to sushi and mini quiches. This program exposes children and families to diverse foods, offers access to prepared, nutritious meals, and creates familiarity of new ingredients and dishes.
“Our youth and their families also have offered positive feedback regarding the Fresh Minds monthly meal kits, which serve the purpose of encouraging healthy eating and cooking at home, in addition to providing weekend meals that some of our families struggle to come by”. – Rick Cartlidge, Jr. Executive Director, Sanctuary on 8th
“The cooking lessons and take-home dinners have been the highlight of our programming. The children, staff, and families enjoy it, and we are very appreciative. Words cannot express our gratitude.” – Alefia Landry, Sr. Director of Operations, The Crawford Early Learning Center at Sulzbacher Village.