Serving Up Healthy Habits

It’s a philosophy of ours that acquiring and sustaining physical health helps one maintain wellness in other aspects of life, too (social, financial, mental, emotional, and such).

But we also understand that everyday stresses—without doubt experienced by some more than others—can derail long-term wellness goals, causing it to feel nearly impossible to get on track and stay there.

For heads-of-households in Philadelphia’s Feltonville neighborhood, a new resource is available to help make their and their family’s physical health more attainable.

We’ve partnered with Aramark and the American Heart Association to offer the Feed Your Potential 365 Club (FYP365), a free 12-week series of information-sharing workshops that empower individuals and families to lead healthy lifestyles—starting in the kitchen. Take Helga, for instance, who cooks for up to 30 family members every day!

In equal parts, an interactive lesson and cooking exercise are led each week by Ingrid Perez-Martin, a consultant working with us to facilitate this and other health and wellness offerings. (Click here to read about the work we did together last year, covered by the Philadelphia Tribune.)

The educational lessons often involve kitchen tips that are nutritious, cost-effective, and/or time-saving. Such topics include the benefits of a slow cooker, at-home exercise tips, and how to thoroughly read food labels. In the coming weeks, participants look forward to putting their knowledge into practice by visiting a nearby supermarket to compare costs and the nutritional values of foods.

Each workshop is then capped off with a cooking demonstration where teams prepare healthy recipes to taste their new learnings together. Much emphasis is put on introducing healthier ingredients, like nonfat or no-salt-added alternatives, or putting a new spin on kitchen classics.

At ECS, we see health as a core component of stability. Our commitment to health and wellness reaches into every program area, and for families in Feltonville (many of which are connected to our Out of School Time program), this new resource is just one of many examples of how we’re promoting long-lasting wellness for the people we serve—and in the dishes we serve, too.

We welcome you to join us at upcoming FYP365 meet-ups on Wednesdays, May 24 through June 28 from 4:30-5:45pm at the Free Library of Philadelphia’s Wyoming Library. For more information, contact Pamela Egleston, director of health and wellness initiatives, at 215.351.1463 or