SPECIAL PURPOSE FUND
Settling in a new country is a big challenge for many new immigrants. They may need to find a shelter for themselves and their family, get a job, learn a new language, enroll their children in school, find a family doctor and more. Looking for healthy, affordable food gets less priority some of the time. Also, figuring out what to put in a child’s lunch box is a worrisome concern for mothers who are newcomers.
The Crescent Town Newcomer Mothers Healthy Living program of The Neighbhourhood Office was a recipient of an SRCHC Healthy Community Grant for 2018. The program’s objective was to create awareness of healthy living and eating among newcomer mothers, to empower them to keep their families healthy, and to thereby keep their communities healthy.
During eight two-hour sessions, the program addressed and delivered learning about:
- Canada’s food guide and participating in food preparation.
- nutrition facts, including nutrient loss during food preparation.
- how to prepare simple and healthy lunches for school-aged children.
The interactive sessions were conducted by a dietitian for more than 15 families (with a few children also taking part). Feedback from program participants was very positive:
“It was a great opportunity for mothers to talk and share their own experiences and challenges for maintaining healthy food habits. We learned easy preparation of delicious and nutritious food.”
“The sessions were very informative and taught me a lot about the food we eat every day. I found out what carbohydrates and proteins do to my body and that it’s very important to eat a well-balanced meal to maintain a healthy weight and lower the risks of various diseases and complications.”
“The program was important to me because I learned what type of food should be provided during my child’s lunch period at school as well as I learned more about my nutrition.”
“The best part of the workshop was the hands-on practice by the presenter, organizer and participants of preparing healthy lunches. The recipes were easy and delicious, not too expensive but reasonable, hassle-free and full of variety.”
Yasmin Ashraf, Settlement Counselor, said the project helped to empower the newcomer mothers, and this will have a positive impact on the lifestyle of newcomer families in the Crescent Town community.