In 2019, the Moms U Matter (MUM) program was rebranded as NOURISH to better reflect the goal of the program.  In support of our community impact mission to provide at-risk youth with opportunities to acquire effective parenting skills, life skills, and nutritional health and wellness skills, the Junior League of Calgary partners with Highbanks Society and Elizabeth House to present the NOURISH program. This program helps young mothers learn about nutrition, meal planning and budgeting and learn cooking skills to support a healthy family.

Highbanks is an organization that provides individual family unit accommodation and integrates support services for young mothers and their children. The NOURISH program, developed and implemented by the JLC, supports Highbanks’ mission to promote education and self-development while fostering peer support and a sense of community. Because young mothers and their children are especially vulnerable to the cycle of poverty and homelessness, Highbanks and the JLC collaborate to effect change so the cycle may be stopped and the young mothers can reach their potential.

Elizabeth House is a life skills program and family-oriented home which welcomes at-risk pregnant and parenting women who need a safe place to live. These mothers are then empowered to work towards a transition to independent living and to pursue the education or job skills training necessary to help set the foundation for their future.

Each month, JLC volunteers gather in the kitchen to prepare a meal, share the prepared meal, and enjoy fellowship that naturally occurs in the kitchen during cooking and cleaning. The goal of the evening is to provide information about healthy and nutritional foods in a family kitchen setting and to share the experience of preparing a healthy meal for one’s family. An extended goal is to model the importance of good nutrition and family meals as part of effective parenting.

Before cooking and eating occur, JLC members plan and prepare the menu to achieve specific outcomes. Each menu is selected to provide a tasty and healthy meal while reinforcing one, some or all of the program concepts: nutrition, meal planning, budgeting, and/or cooking skills.

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