PHOENIX — St. Vincent de Paul is on a mission to help the needy understand the value of making healthy food options.
The organization is hosting Healthy Family Week in celebration of Hunger Action Month. In addition to preparing dishes like baked tilapia and soy stir-fry, the kitchen will also make gluten and sugar-free cookies for dessert.
“It’s a slow process,” said nutritionist Yolanda Konopken. “We don’t want to overwhelm them, because they’ll walk away. It’s a slow test.”
The idea is to introduce the healthier menu items and offer education on eating healthy on a strict budget. Over time, the organization would like to permanently change the foods they serve the needy altogether.
“We’ve been gradually making our meals more nutritious over the last year, but this week is our big effort to show families that healthy meals can taste good and be good for you,” kitchen manager Jay Baker said in a press release. “Lifelong habits can take a lot of work to change and maintain, so it’s our hope that these small steps can help encourage that process for our families.”