Dinner Program and Nutritional Health and Fund Fitness
The goal of the Ozanam after school dinner program is to provide a healthy daily meal to community youth under the age of 18. Our program goals are to promote good grades, good attendance, good citizenship, & good health through academics and athletics. As an Out of School Program provider, it is important to provide kids with the best opportunity to succeed. Our daily meals draw many kids who are not in our formal after school programs, along with providing our after school participants with a healthy meal. Parents are very pleased with knowing their child has the ability to have a good healthy meal.
Ozanam has introduced a new program: Nutritional Health and Fitness. We realize that when a youngster has good nutritional health, that youngster is more alert, more attentive, and more prone to perform positively in the learning environment. Our program educates our youngsters. The students engage in activities to include: Games and discussions (What’s the Pyramid? Colorful Plates? Name that Fruit or Veggie, etc.), guest speakers, food demonstrations, fun fitness, nutritional facts handouts, articles in our newsletter, and even recipes for the children and parents.
Our meals program is also supported by the Allegheny County Food Program. We have mandatory training sessions throughout the year for staff. Fuel Up to Play 60 Representative & Nutritional Experts compliment our program. We keep daily attendance of our dinner and snack program. Information is used to help evaluate student need. Student surveys and healthy eating topics are discussed with students regularly. This information/ data gathered from the aforementioned materials are utilized in the evaluation process. Ozanam staff, Dr. Maria Townsend; adjunct professor at the University of Pittsburgh’s Graduate School of International and Public Affairs, and BNY Mellon Foundation are supporters of the Ozanam Nutritional Health and Fitness Program.
With over 10,000 meals served during our 2013 – 2014 school year, many of our community youth and families have greatly benefited from the dinner program. We served 70 meals per day, five days per week for 9 months.