Nick Riley
Apr 24, 2017

A Primer on TBGC's Food Services Program

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Edited: Apr 24, 2017

 

If you've been following what's been going on lately with Troy Boys & Girls Club, you most likely have heard us talk about the positive impact our food services program is having on the local community. But what exactly does the program do?

Troy Boys & Girls Club is licensed as a catering company, and serves/delivers over 750 meals per day to at-risk kids throughout the Capital Region. While most of the meals served go to members of Boys & Girls Clubs, any child under the age of 18 can receive a free meal by coming to our downtown site.

 

To make those 750+ meals per day, the Club employs 5 hard-working staff to order the food, prepare/deliver it and report our numbers to the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP).

 

The Club follows CACFP guidelines and places fresh, healthy foods as our top priority. Our food services staff make every effort to balance out the menu with healthy foods that kids like to eat, with new foods that they may have never tried before. Our dinners include a grain, protein, dairy and vegetable/fruit component in order to provide kids with a well-rounded, nutritious meal every day after school. A sample menu of our dinner program would resemble the following:

 

Meatball Monday!

- Spaghetti (2 oz.)

- Meatballs (2 oz.)

- Summer Squash (1/4 cup)

- Banana (1 whole)

- Milk (1 cup)

 

Our food services team insists on keeping our meals hot and family style, allowing us to serve healthier meals of higher quality to kids who need us most. In the City of Troy, there is a 21.3% child food insecurity rate. Kids who can come to the Club will receive a free, warm meal that will hopefully keep them coming back. By coming to the Club more frequently, kids are less likely to drop-out of school and more likely to develop positive social skills. Our food services program is paving the way for youth opportunities!

We make a lot of meals in our downtown Troy kitchen, and we have to transport over 600 meals to Albany on a daily basis! In order to keep our meals warm, we utilize special "heating" coolers known as cambros that retain heat for 2-3 hours. We have 2 vans that are solely dedicated to food delivery and depart every school day containing around 300 meals each.

Fresh healthy meals are of paramount importance to the program, and every day the Club sends out high-quality foods to ensure good nutrition within local at-risk youth. We frequently administer quality control surveys that track the foods kids like and don't like. This makes it easy for our staff to plan out a menu with healthy options that kids actually will eat. Bringing new foods into a menu is a tricky task for youth as most parents know, but we are often able to introduce healthy foods in innovative ways, such as mixing them in with other vegetables, or incorporating them into a sauce. The feedback from the kids helps maximize the impact of each meal served, and helps diversify their nutritional intake.

Delivering meals is not where the food services program ends. Nutrition education is an important staple in fighting both hunger and childhood obesity. Our food services staff utilize every available opportunity to teach kids, teens and parents about making good choices when it comes to the food they eat, and how to actually save money by eating healthy!

 

During spring break, the food services staff took our kids on a field trip to Laughing Earth Farms to give TBGC's youngsters a new experience in learning about farm life and what farm-to-table means. Kids helped take care of farm animals and learned about produce, farming and the wide-world of agriculture! The Club strives towards giving youth every opportunity possible to achieve great futures. Some doors they might not have access to because nobody opened it for them. At the end of the day, the kids had a lot of fun and learned that farm pigs are about three times the size of them!

We are constantly developing programs that promote healthy lifestyles and good nutrition throughout the community. Our Soccer for Success partnership with St. Peter's Health Partners and the US Soccer Foundation helps use the sport of soccer to teach kids about making good choices when it comes to the food they eat. Also, starting in May of 2017, we will be launching a Facebook campaign that will share our healthy recipes with parents and teens. Follow us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Troybgc/

 

Our vision for the future is to bring in community partners to help grow the capacity of our program to serve more kids. We have only just begun to reach our potential and their is a long way to go towards eliminating child hunger in the Capital Region. We have received support from the Hannaford Foundation in installing a walk-in cooler/freezer that will help us optimize our ordering capabilities. The food services program also brought in support from TEC Protective Coatings, T&J Electrical Associates, United Way, and significant individual support from the community!

 

Over the past 3 years, we went from serving 100 meals per day to over 750. With more opportunities to increase our meal output and put a dent in child hunger rates, we have to consider expanding our kitchen space and workforce. This increase in infrastructure is going to create more jobs in Troy, and it is thanks to the above mentioned support we have received from vested stakeholders. Together, we are making an IMPACT on great futures!

The meals we serve meet the basic physiological needs of our members, and it puts them on the right track to do well physically, socially and academically. We want to again thank our supporters for investing in positive places for youth in the City of Troy. A Boys & Girls Club has a significant IMPACT on a community, and for the Troy Club, it starts with healthy meals and lots of smiles!

 

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  • Nick Riley
    Jun 28, 2017

    Helping the kids who need us most! Our Mission: "To serve the young people of our community by providing safe places and positive programs that enhance their moral, intellectual, social, and physical development." Troy Boys & Girls Club seeks to help all youth live full and satisfying lives. The outcomes below describe our expectations and goals for young people. Through frequent participation in our programs that are designed to incorporate these key elements, young people become productive, caring, responsible citizens. ​ Positive Self-Identity: Youth set and attain goals and have a positive view of their future, confidently making the necessary decisions to achieve their life plans. They become self-sufficient and are able to support themselves and others. ​ Health and Well-Being: Youth adopt a healthy diet. They practice healthy lifestyle choices and make a lifelong commitment to fitness. ​ Positive Values: Youth develop and demonstrate strong character and are guided by positive values including honesty, integrity, caring and fairness. ​ Commitment to Learning: Youth value education and lifelong learning and make them an integral part of their future plans. ​ Social Competency: Youth have positive relationships with family, friends and coworkers and appreciate cultural diversity. Community and Civic Involvement: Youth are engaged citizens of their community and the world. Out-of School: A Critical Time in America 11.3 million kids (1 out of 4) leave school every day with no place to go. They risk being unsupervised, unguided and unsafe. ​ Each summer, 43 million kids lack access to summer learning programs. ​ Underserved children from low-income communities experience a dramatic learning loss and begin their next school year at a significant disadvantage. ​ Research shows that what happens during out of school time can have a significant impact on reversing the negative trends facing our youth and our country, specifically youth dropout rates, obesity and violence. ​ These hours serve as the essential link between school and home, offering the greatest opportunity to influence the future of our kids, our communities and our country. ​ We seek to ensure that all kids, especially those who need us most, have a positive and enriching experience when the school bell rings, putting them on the path to success. Our History Troy Boys Club (TBC) became incorporated in 1903.  Several years later, TBC became a member of the Federated Boys Clubs in Boston.  In recognition of being one of the 53 founding organizations of the Boys & Girls Club Movement, the Club was named a "Diamond Jubilee Charter.” In 1966, Troy Boys Club allowed girls to attend specialized programming for the first time. Later that year, the main facility of the Club was dedicated in downtown Troy and we continue to operate out of this building today. In 1991, Troy Boys & Girls Club (TBGC) was officially re-incorporated and recognized girls as "official” members. In 2003, TBGC celebrated its centennial anniversary of providing youth services to the kids who need us most. In 2014, we licensed the Club as a catering site so that we can prepare and deliver just under 800 hot meals per day to at-risk youth around the Capital District. We are a safe haven for young people during out-of-school time, ensuring that great futures start here! Our Program Areas Healthy Lifestyles Programs that provide youth with the encouragement and education to make smart lifestyle choices that will lead the way to better long-term health and well being tomorrow and beyond.  Programs foster youths' academic, social, emotional and physical growth This core area develops young people's capacity to engage in positive behaviors that nurture their own well-being, set personal goals and live successfully as self-sufficient adults. Academic Success Programs in this core area enable youth to become proficient in basic educational disciplines, set goals, explore careers, prepare for employment, and embrace technology to achieve success in a career. Good Character & Citizenship Provides youth with leadership development, positive role models, and opportunities for civic and community involvement.  These programs work to build not only the future of each child, but the community as a whole. Food Services About Us ​ TBGC's Food Services Program serves over 750 meals per school day to at-risk youth living in the Capital Region. We only serve fresh, hot meals that are catered to the kids that we deliver to. We promote healthy eating habits and menu options to combat nutrition related illnesses such as diabetes and obesity. ​ Each meal has: ​ - A grain component - Fruit/vegetable components. *TBGC utilizes whole fruit in all of our meals. - A dairy component - A protein component ​ The Need in the Community ​ - 21.3% Child food-insecurity rate. ​ - 1-in-5 kids don't know when or where their next meal will come from. ​ - 27% overweight/obesity rate . ​ Our Numbers ​ - 750 meals served per day! ​ - Meal delivery to 15 partnering youth agency sites! ​ -Nutrition Education/Wellness program delivered to over 900 kids in the region! Come take a tour and learn about our positive impact!
  • Admin
    Jun 15, 2017

    Troy Boys & Girls Club has teamed up with Laughing Earth Farms to teach our kids about the values of good nutrition. Every day, Troy Boys & Girls Club delivers over 750 healthy meals to kids throughout the Capital Region. Help us continue to provide invaluable services to inner-city youth by donating today! More information can be found at www.tbgc.org/foodservices. A special thanks to the Agricultural Stewardship Association for making this program possible! Here's what our Club Kids were cooking up: Healthy habits start with proper exposure and education from a young age. Enter Laughing Earth Farms. This beautiful, historic farm has transitioned to new stewards Zack and Annie Metzger and is Forever Farmland protected by the Agricultural Stewardship Association by removing the landowner's right to develop the land. This season marks the 22nd season of CSA FarmShare at the Farm, and something approaching 300 years of continuous farming. This land is farmed using chemical-and-hormone-free sustainable farming methods. By farming organically, they are making a commitment to protect the land and sustain its productivity over the long term. They are working to keep harmful chemicals out of the food chain to decrease energy-consumptive off-farm inputs. "We strive to work with nature, instead of against it". Facebook.com/laughingearthny In a time where over 1-in-5 kids living in Troy don't know where their next meal is coming from, it is our mission as a Boys & Girls Club to provide a safe space where they can have access to free, healthy meals and educative programs. By supporting Troy Boys & Girls Club, you support an organization in the front lines of addressing the needs of Troy's youth. What kids learn at the Club stays with them for the rest of their lives. Every $3 donated to the Club is able to go towards the costs of feeding a child in need. Each year, the Club serves upwards of 125,000 meals to those who need us most. More photos from the program! Kids eating vegetables!?!?! We're shocked too! Thank you for reading about our Club's programs, for more information on our food services, visit our webpage @ www.tbgc.org/foodservices or contact Patrick Doyle @ patrickd@tbgc.org.
  • Nick Riley
    May 18, 2017

    ABOUT TROY BOYS & GIRLS CLUB Troy Boys & Girls Club seeks to help all youth live full and satisfying lives. The outcomes below describe our expectations and goals for young people. Through frequent participation in our programs that are designed to incorporate these key elements, young people become productive, caring, responsible citizens. ​ Positive Self-Identity: Youth set and attain goals and have a positive view of their future, confidently making the necessary decisions to achieve their life plans. They become self-sufficient and are able to support themselves and others. ​ Health and Well-Being: Youth adopt a healthy diet. They practice healthy lifestyle choices and make a lifelong commitment to fitness. ​ Positive Values: Youth develop and demonstrate strong character and are guided by positive values including honesty, integrity, caring and fairness. ​ Commitment to Learning: Youth value education and lifelong learning and make them an integral part of their future plans. ​ Social Competency: Youth have positive relationships with family, friends and coworkers and appreciate cultural diversity. ​ Community and Civic Involvement: Youth are engaged citizens of their community and the world.