PLAINFIELD, NJ - A free healthy food tasting event will take place at Plainfield's Isabelita Market this Thursday, Aug. 17th, from 2:30 to 4:00 pm, as a part of the New Jersey Healthy Corner Store Initiative. This initiative connects corner store owners and neighborhood partners with resources to access fruits, vegetables, and other healthy food options.
Fresh fruit, yogurt, and Heart Healthy Coupons will be available at Isabelita Market, located at 341 Park Avenue. This food event is just one in a series that have taken place around the city. The goal of the events is simple: encourage local residents, especially students, to embrace healthy food options, and to switch from high sugar or salty snacks to fresh fruits and vegetables.
In late July, EZ Ride, with assistance from Rutgers SNAP-Ed, hosted an event at Ravi West Indian Grocery in Plainfield, and provided free healthy eats, nutrition information, and coupons that could be redeemed for healthy snacks.
Fresh cut watermelon — rich in Vitamins A, B6, and C, Magnesium, Potassium, and high in fiber was offered to shoppers. The day was hot and humid — perfect weather to try a slice of refreshing watermelon and more than 50 local residents decided to give it a try.
The SNAP-Ed team presented a range of traditional sweet beverages — iced tea, fruit punch and soda, and challenged the shoppers to guess the amount of sugar in their chosen drink. The average drink contained about 9 teaspoons of sugar - an unpleasant surprise for many customers.
The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends no more than six teaspoons (25 grams) of added sugar per day for women and nine teaspoons (38 grams) for men.
The AHA limits for children vary depending on their age and caloric needs, but range between three to six teaspoons (12 - 25 grams) per day.
All shoppers at the Ravi West Indian Grocery event received Heart Healthy Coupons that could be redeemed for healthy snacks, including bananas, string cheese sticks, yogurt tubes and apples.
About EZ Ride:
EZ Ride is a non-profit, public-private partnership with a mission to implement transportation programs and services that enhance the quality of life, regional mobility and economic opportunity while reducing traffic congestion and air pollution.
EZ Ride offers carpool, vanpool, and employee shuttle programs as well as senior transportation, special transportation, and Safe Routes to School (SRTS) programs in Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Monmouth, Passaic, and Union Counties. To learn more, visit www.ezride.org or call 201-939-4242.
About the New Jersey Healthy Corner Store Initiative:
The New Jersey Healthy Corner Store Initiative is a partnership between The Food Trust, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, The American Heart Association and the New Jersey Partnership for Healthy Kids that connects corner store owners and community partners with the resources they need to increase the availability of fresh fruits, vegetables, and other healthy foods in corner stores throughout New Jersey. Visit http://njhealthycornerstores.heart.org, www.njymca.org/main/healthy-corner-stores, or www.thefoodtrust.org.