Issue-Based Community Impact (IBCI) Focus Area: Nutrition Insecurity
During the 2014-2015 League year, the Junior League of Lancaster (JLL) began adopting specific issue areas as the primary focus of our service projects and initiatives. As of June 2022, our current Issue-Based Community Impact (IBCI) focus area is nutrition insecurity. Our strategic mission within this realm is a multi-tiered community initiative with the goal of creating a more nutrition-secure Lancaster. Through multiple approaches, this program is intended to positively impact the health and wellness of families in our area by focusing on nutrition, food security, and availability in an equitable and accessible way.
During the 2022-2023 League year, our trained legion of JLL volunteers embarked on a number of collaborative, creative projects and long-term programming endeavors within our IBCI, all rooted with the intention of creating measurable reform within Lancaster County to combat the social, economic, and health implications of food insecurity within our geographic footprint:
- Preparing, cooking, serving well-balanced lunches and dinners to Arch Street Center members
- Donating three raised, stained, and weatherproof garden beds to Arch Street Center that will allow current and future members with physical disabilities or traveling restrictions to plant and grow their own food on-site
- Deploying committed volunteers to organize, sort, and box non-perishable goods and nutrient-dense recipes for children and families who receive weekend meals from Power Packs Project (highlights included packing 759 individual bags of potatoes in preparation for Thanksgiving, 797 single bags of walnuts ahead of the holiday season, 383 boxes of essential groceries, and 780 bags of almonds for everyday usage)
- Collecting 1,500 manual can openers for children and their families who are enrolled in the Power Packs Project program based in Lancaster, which through our research-based discovery process we determined was a critically overlooked need for recipients (this campaign, known as “Together We Can”, was a strategically designed project between our Community Impact Committee and our Fall 2022 Provisional Class, the latter of whom was required to complete a new member project by December 2022)
- Embarking on a fundraising campaign to raise over $2,000.00 in contributions from supporters and donors to stock Bench Mark Program‘s new kitchen facility with useful appliances and gadgets for members and staff to whip up healthy snacks and meals (this campaign, referred to as “Sponsor a Spoon”, was also a strategically designed project between our Community Impact Committee and our Spring 2023 Provisional Class, the latter of whom was required to complete a new member project by May 2023)
- Executing a two-phase community co-op program with the Boys & Girls Club of Lancaster that entails the clean-up and planting of a community garden behind the Jack Walker Clubhouse in downtown Lancaster that will harvest locally-grown, free produce for members, employees, and nearby residents beginning in late July 2023 (through its introduction, BGC members will also be treated to experiential STEM-oriented programming opportunities, as well as educational life skills involving health and wellness)
- Improving the nutrition for the most vulnerable populations by introducing free pop-up markets that will offer immediate access to fresh fruits and vegetables (coming in Summer 2023)
To learn more information about the JLL’s current focus area of nutrition insecurity, the work we’re surveying and conducting to break the cycle of inequitable food access, or to explore and discuss a potential community partnership with the organization to eradicate hunger in Lancaster, please contact Carrie McCullough, Community Impact VP.