Walmart Foundation and Illinois State Giving Advisory Council Funds Nicasa Nutrition Education Program.
Walmart Foundation has made a 40,000 contribution to Nicasa Behavioral Health Services in support of nutrition education in Nicasa’s after school programs and men and women receiving substance abuse treatment will be taught the importance of healthy eating and nutrition as a part of a healthy lifestyle.The contribution is made through Walmart’s State Giving Program that aims to fight hunger, improve nutrition, create economic opportunities, and strengthen communities.
Nicasa’s individuals and families are primarily low-income, and often struggle with the ability to provide healthy food and make nutritious-conscious choices. After school program coordinators see this first hand. Nicasa provides healthy snacks each day as a part of the after school program and the staff has been shocked by how many students are unfamiliar with a plum, or even an apple. Coordinators for the after school program find it heartbreaking that healthy eating is so far outside the realm of these students’ experience.
In the substance abuse treatment programs, Nicasa serves many men, women, and adolescents whose shopping and healthy eating habits are overshadowed by their addictions. “Understanding nutrition is extremely important for people with addictions, as healthy eating can help heal damage caused by the depletion of nutrients commonly caused by substance abuse” said Elizabeth Thielen, Senior Director at Nicasa.
Nicasa will use the grant funds to hire a part time nutritionist to provide a healthy shopping and healthy eating curriculum to the students and treatment clients, provide presentations to parent groups, and offer one-on-one counseling.