Spring Supper 2018 — Growing Together
Sunday Suppers’ annual fundraiser on May 22 is modeled after the Sunday Suppers program, as participants gather around the table for a healthful and delicious meal. This also includes hors d’oeuvres, cocktails, dessert and a fund-raising auction. Learn more at sundaysuppersphilly.org/supper2018.
Sunday Suppers, a Philadelphia nonprofit, uses food, education and community-building to strengthen the health and well-being of families experiencing poverty and food insecurity. The centerpiece of the organization is healthful meals served in a restaurant-like setting, nourishing families in an open-hearted and respectful manner.
Sunday Suppers, founded in 2011 by Weavers Way member Linda Samost, currently operates two sites — Kensington and Germantown. The Germantown site opened in February and is a partnership between Philadelphia Interfaith Hospitality Network and Germantown Avenue Crisis Ministry, housed at First Presbyterian Church of Germantown. The Kensington site is located at Memphis School Academy.
Samost was spurred to action when she learned that Philadelphia was part of the second-hungriest congressional district in the country. Her background as a chef and in program development and evaluation for health-related nonprofits provided the perfect experience for the creation of this program, a manifestation of her belief that everyone has the right to healthful and affordable food that they can share as a family.
The five-month program centers around a weekly family meal where families share a supper made of fresh food, with ingredients that are familiar and affordable. At the end of each meal, every family is given the ingredients and recipes from that day’s supper to take home and make on their own.
In addition to the weekly meal, Sunday Suppers delivers fun, hands-on cooking lessons to help develop skills and increase confidence and knowledge. Through these lessons, families not only gain skills but also learn about significant health benefits they can achieve with small changes. For example, after a hands-on activity in which families measured the amount of sugar in a variety of drinks, many swapped soda for water, which helped participants feel better and lose weight. Sunday Suppers focuses on incremental modifications that lead to long-term changes.
Lack of kitchen equipment is often overlooked when addressing food insecurity, and many poor families don’t have basic kitchen equipment, which limits the changes they can make. Sunday Suppers provides families with needed kitchen equipment to eliminate this barrier and support their success in reaching their goals. Also provided are volunteer opportunities, exercise classes and community gardening.
Sunday Suppers is making a difference! Comparing behaviors before and after participation, evaluation shows that on average, families:
- Increased shared family meals from 3.5 times per week to 6.
- Increased eating vegetables from 2.5 days a week to 4.7.
- Increased eating fruit from 3.7 days per week to 5.
- More than doubled the number of times they drank water, from 23% to 60%.
- Decreased eating fried foods from 3.25 times to one time per week.
Please consider volunteering on Tuesday evenings in Germantown; sign up at sundaysuppersphilly.org/volunteer.
Find the list of our needs for kitchen equipment at sundaysuppersphilly.org/donate.
Sunday Suppers will be sharing more about their program at the May meeting of the Weavers Way Food Justice Committee.
Questions? Feel free to call Linda Samost at 215-913-5028.