1. Zia Food Bank
Thanks to a partnership with other Mothers Against Poverty, Zia has realized its goal of opening a food bank inside a local elementary school, where 100% of the students live at or below poverty level. In Zia’s pilot program, providing 8-10 meals a month for 25 client families, MAP provides the lean protein and vegetable options each week, including boneless chicken breast, lean ground beef, broccoli and cauliflower. Zia supplements these, along with recipe cards, through its collection of non-perishable food items enabling client families to make complete balanced meals. For instance, MAP might provide ground beef and Zia will provide canned beans and diced tomatoes so client families can make a complete batch of Chili Con Carne. In addition, Zia collects items such as peanut butter and jelly, canned tuna and chicken, and mayonnaise, so client families can have a quick and easy backup meal available when needed.
Zia is also seeking out options through the Philadelphia Wholesale Produce Market, where some vendors give produce away (or sell at minimal cost) to charitable organizations. We aim to provide a serving of fruit with every meal, rounding out a complete, nutritious and balanced meal for each family.
2. Family Sponsors
Some of Zia’s client families live in homeless shelters or domestic violence shelters and do not have access to a kitchen or the ability to cook. Zia also provided fully cooked meals for client families. Families receive 8-10 meals per month. Meals are delicious, nutritious and balanced. They aim to provide high protein, high fiber, lower carbohydrates and fresh fruits and vegetables, to balance the kinds of foods usually accessible to city residents living at or below the poverty line. Some sample meals include:
Chicken parmesan – boneless chicken breast, tomato sauce, part-skim mozzarella; Italian beans – white cannellini beans, crushed tomatoes, rosemary, Fontina cheese; Roasted Broccoli – broccoli crowns roasted with olive oil and kosher salt; Apple pie – cinnamon and brown sugar; Fruit – bunch of bananas, naval oranges, strawberries
Pork tenderloin – Asian marinade; Roasted Carrots – olive oil and kosher salt; Sweet Potatoes – cinnamon, nutmeg and pecan topping; Chocolate chip cookies; Fruit – bunch of bananas, bag of apples, cantaloupe chunks
Barbecue Chicken Thighs; Three Bean Salad – garbanzo, kidney and wax beans, vinegar dressing; Cucumber salad – cucumbers, guacamole dressing; Apple Peanut Butter Crumble – baked apple, oatmeal, peanut butter; Fruit – pineapple chunks, strawberries, naval oranges
3. Standardized Testing Support
Boosting attendance during the testing period is imperative for a student’s future academic success, as well as a school’s future funding and ranking. We at Zia know that “bribing” children with delicious food is a powerful incentive to get them to show up at school – even if there is a test!
Zia is working with a local elementary school to provide delicious nutritious breakfasts, snacks and treats to those students embarking on the rigorous standardized testing that occurs each spring across the city of Philadelphia. Breakfast options may include:
Oatmeal – baked apples, cinnamon and a touch of brown sugar; 100% pure orange juice; Smoothie – Greek yogurt, banana; Whole wheat toast and peanut butter