Good public health requires access to affordable, healthy food
NKCDC believes that accessing, preparing and eating nourishing meals should be accessible to people of all social and economic backgrounds. By providing the resources and skills that people need to create nourishing meals at home, individuals and families can eat healthier, feel healthier, gain greater confidence in their cooking abilities and achieve a greater sense of control over their health and wellbeing. The goal is to create good food habits with long-term health benefits.
What is Nourish?
Nourish is NKCDC’s nutrition education program, funded in part by Pennsylvania SNAP-Ed. It connects Philadelphia households to healthy food, affordable recipes, healthy cooking techniques, nutrition information and other health resources.
Online classes. As part of NKCDC’s SNAP Education program, Nourish uses SNAP-Ed materials to conduct 8-week online cooking classes for residents of the Kensington, Fairhill and Juniata neighborhoods. Each class includes a weekly meal kit with healthy ingredients used in the online demonstration.
Fresh produce for food pantries. Nourish connects local food pantries to fresh produce from local growers and grocers, and provides pantry customers with a shopping list, recipes and instructions for using pantry items to make nutritious meals. Customers are also invited to join online courses.
Supporting small food businesses. Using ingredients found in local mini markets and corner stores, Nourish builds healthy recipes stores can share with their shoppers. Nourish also supplements its weekly meal kits with items from local merchants.
Neighborhood food distribution. Nourish provides fresh food, recipes, nutrition information and other health resources at pop-up distribution sites coordinated by local residents. In 2021, Nourish supported 120 families through We CAN, a community based crime reduction initiative funded by the U.S. Department of Justice. Each Thanksgiving and Christmas, Nourish gives out turkeys and groceries to more than 100 families
Are you interested in cooking new recipes and learning about nutrition? Text NKCDCnourish to 833-901-2072!
Our health history
Before joining NKCDC in November 2020, executive director Dr. Bill McKinney was executive vice president and director of research and evaluation at The Food Trust.
“This part of Kensington ranks last of 46 Philadelphia neighborhoods surveyed for health factors and health outcomes, according to a 2019 survey by the City of Philadelphia and Drexel University,” Dr. McKinney said. “Good public health requires more than good medicine. It means safe, healthy housing. It means supporting community green spaces—parks and playgrounds. It means having reliable transportation to work, and school, and doctors. And it means having access to healthy, affordable food.”
From 2011 to 2018, NKCDC partnered with St. Christopher’s Foundation for Children to provide weekly boxes of fresh food from Lancaster County farms, available by subscription. When that partnership ended in July 2018, NKCDC began looking for a food and nutrition program that could serve the community around its offices in Kensington.
Since 2018, NKCDC has trained and hired 30 Community Health Workers as part of Philadelphia’s Health Enterprise Zone, funded by Pennsylvania’s Department of Human Services in partnership with Thomas Jefferson University. Four of NKCDC’s health workers have been interning with Sunday Suppers and the pilot phase of the Nourish program, providing additional support for participating families through a needs assessment and specialized resource plans.
Donate to Nourish
Nourish originally developed as an eight-week nutrition education and meal kit delivery program through the former Sunday Suppers, a Philadelphia health and nutrition program that joined NKCDC in 2021.
“Although I will no longer be involved in day-to-day operations,“ Sunday Suppers’ former director, Linda Samost, wrote in a letter to supporters, “I will continue to support the efforts of Nourish and NKCDC and I hope you will too, so that they can adopt and expand our original goals of advancing food justice and addressing social determinants of health.”