At FEAST, we believe that a healthy life has three main ingredients: whole foods, whole people, and whole communities. However, we live in a world where many people lack access to basic, healthy fresh affordable foods, and where many more feel isolated from one another. Inequitable food environments, unhealthy diets, and social isolation are key contributors to the dramatic rise of obesity and dietary diseases affecting our country today.
In order to address these issues, FEAST works in schools, community centers, and hospitals, serving parents or heads of households through our comprehensive 16-week Wellness Program.
The FEAST group is a safe, supportive environment where individuals and families come together to work on relationships with, and belief systems about, food and health. Each two-hour meeting is separated into two halves. In the first half, participants learn skills to help them navigate a challenging food environment in a healthy manner. The second half is a group discussion where each person has the opportunity to share about their personal struggles and successes along their journey towards health.
Each week, we host nutritional discussions and provide recipes and cooking demonstrations to make healthy eating satisfying, affordable, and delicious. Program participants learn about healthy eating skills including nutrition label reading, the difference between processed foods and whole fruits, vegetables, and grains, and how to prepare affordable recipes at home for a family, even with limited resources.
“I have such a desire to share my newly gained knowledge with my community including what to eat, how to eat, and how to choose good food at stores. I’ve been given something very important, peace of mind when it comes to eating healthy.”
-Eleanor FEAST West Hollywood Community Housing program graduate, 2019
In each class, we provide free and immediate access to fresh, whole foods through a food scholarship, enabling families to experiment with healthy recipes at home. We partner closely with healthy food retailers, farmers’ markets, and CSA programs to provide vouchers for fresh produce each week. These activities not only benefit participants and their families but also help to strengthen a healthy food environment by boosting local engagement at pre-existing healthy food locations.
“I am so grateful to FEAST for providing the support through the group check-ins, the access to fruit and vegetables, and for helping me create a set of healthy goals. Through this program, I changed my life for the better, forever.” - Judith L
In order to create healthier new beginnings with food, we provide a safe space for our participants to share about current eating habits and receive group support so that they can overcome obstacles and celebrate their steps towards a healthier life. Because research shows that strong social networks are an essential ingredient to create positive health outcomes (as important as diet, sleep and exercise) FEAST’s groups facilitate lasting bonds of community support.
“Every minute of the program was great. It lifted my depression, it was a happy place to go to. It made learning easy to accept and we learn from each and how others deal with problems.” Pamela P.