A Galveston non-profit is working with Trader Joe’s in Houston to deliver organic and fresh food weekly to organizations that serve low-income people. The organization is also developing plans to teach healthy cooking to the recipients.
Each week, volunteers from The Jesse Tree, a faith-based non-profit that connects people to medical and social services, pick up and transport about $5,000 worth of produce, dairy and meats from Trader Joe’s in Houston.
The food is then sorted and delivered by volunteers to different non-profits in Galveston, such as the Alcohol/Drug Abuse Women’s Center and The Children’s Center, as well as to individuals who need assistance.
The grocery chain also donates flowers, which are used to teach seasonal workers how to make floral arrangements in a program Jesse Tree does with young adults from The Children’s Center transitioning out of the foster care program.
Young adults from the The Children’s Center Transitional Living Program help sort and deliver the food and are part of a program learning how to prepare nutritional meals from the ingredients.
“When dealing with chronic medical conditions as many of our people are, it’s particularly important to learn a healthy lifestyle,” Hanley said.
Recently, Trader Joe’s said it would extend to provide food three days a week, which Hanley said will be used to provide to other area non-profits.
The partnership with the grocery chain is just one part of promoting healthy habits, Hanley said.
A new app for phones could help low-income people connect to appropriate services to address chronic social and health problems.
The Jesse Tree App, which is expected to be widely available in January, will have information about how to get connected to resources and how to apply for programs, he said. It will also have tips for living a healthier lifestyle, including healthy and affordable recipes.
“It literally puts everything at your fingertips and will be the fastest, easiest way to connect people to care,” Hanley said.