Groceryships help low-income families buy healthier food

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A new scholarship program called Groceryships is helping to educate low-income families and provide them with fresh fruits and vegetables. (KABC)

A new scholarship program called Groceryships is helping to educate low-income families and provide them with fresh fruits and vegetables.

Not long ago, South Los Angeles resident Dorcia White-Brake would not have considered a bright, crispy salad a meal. But now, the mother of three is preparing healthy meals for her family every day.

Families are given $100 gift certificates to buy needed groceries thanks to the scholarship program.

"Because sometimes you look in the store and you see something way less expensive, but it's not healthy but you choose it because it's in your budget," White-Brake said.

Recipients attend two-hour weekly meetings for six months to learn about nutrition and how to cook healthier meals.

The goal is to help low-income families struggling with obesity in communities where there are few grocery stores and fresh produce can often be expensive.

Sam Polk, the founder and executive director of Groceryships, said people often purchase unhealthy items because they are cheaper.

"People are not just hungry, they're also obese because they live in things called food deserts where there's no vegetables for sale and all the restaurants are fast food," he said.

White-Brake said the classes offer a lot of support, which is a big part of the program. Families taking part in the first Groceryships class last summer were emotional during a graduation ceremony.

"That safe space that we've created really allows for these deep emotional bonds to form between families," Polk said.

White-Brake said her 9-year-old son now likes eating raw spinach and broccoli.

"I can't really say enough about what I've learned. I can't believe that life has changed so much," she said.

To learn more about the program go to groceryships.org.

Related Topics:
societyscholarshipfamilyfoodhealth foodLos Angeles
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