Submitted by: Joey Schueler
Stop by a Boys & Girls Club in Ada County around 4:00 pm on a Wednesday and you will see hundreds of children eating healthy, nutritious meals. Wednesdays are salad bar day with a packed meal including a tossed green salad, a banana, assorted veggies, kidney beans, whole grain baked Goldfish crackers, croutons, milk, and a cheese stick. We are extremely proud of our nutrition program, which provides over 200,000 free, nutritious meals a year. Our kids have a lot of great things to say about it, too:
“I love salad bar Wednesdays because they are very delicious and they put lots of flavor in there.” Miriah, age 10
“I like salad on Wednesdays because its healthy and it gives you protein.” Cordell, age 7
“I like salad bar Wednesdays because it’s nutritious AND delicious!” Sienna, age 10
At a time where many in society are struggling to maintain nutrition as a top priority due to rising food costs, we want to ensure that our children learn the healthy habits they need to grow into healthy adults. “The habits we nurture as children naturally develop into the behaviors we carry well into adulthood”, says Joey Schueler, Director of Operations for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Ada County. He has seen amazing improvements to the overall well-being amongst the populations of youth served by the Clubs over the years:
“Healthy foods are what help children pay attention in school, have increased energy, stay active in sports, and stay out of trouble. When I first started working here, before we had nutrition support from the USDA Food Program, discipline issues were definitely more pervasive and you could tell some of these little kiddos just needed a snack and they’d perk right back up. Back then, we threw in a few bucks each to buy pizzas on no school days, not what I’d call proper nutrition, but it filled their tummies and we could get back to having fun. Today, I am amazed at what we are able to do. Whether it be regular exercise, prioritizing education, or eating well, we all have a role to play in making good choices and being our best selves. Getting access to healthy foods then becomes just another healthy habit that improves our life; not something we should do reluctantly, but joyously. ”
This institution is an equal opportunity provider.