Category Archives: JLCU Community Impact

#JLCUIMPACTS: EMILY DUPUIS

harvestmarketpic(2)How did you get connected with Junior League?

I was approached because of my role as a dietitian of this store and being the community dietitian. My mission and role are to help people be as healthy as they possibly can and be included. I think just finding different outlets, friends, and people who are part of this community. When I first started here, I got as many contacts as I possibly could and sent out mass emails telling people ‘Hey I’m here. I’m a dietitian and if you need anything let me know!’ to make collaboration and relationships with the community because that’s really my goal. The first event I was contacted as a potential partner.

 

What specifically working with JL stuck out? What drew you to the Kids in the Kitchen program?

JL and Kids in the Kitchen’s whole goal from what I understand is to address child obesity and get kids exposed to healthier options, trying everything, making eating healthy fun and exciting and that’s what I’m all about. I think it’s great to be partnering with organizations that are so well embedded in the community already and that really drew me to that to because (JL) is a very organized organization that has been in the industry for a long time. That’s why I believe it would be a great collaboration for me.

 

Anything in the future you have in mind with JL? Any potential partnerships in the future?

I’m open to anything! I really am! As far as programs and things, I love what we do here to have people come interaction with different stations with snacks, apples, and fruits. I don’t know about bridging out with JL to offer something to women or mom specifically, but I do teach my own cooking classes. While JL is more geared towards kids, my classes are geared towards the parents and how to provide healthy choices and dealing with picky eaters. A lot things I get asked by moms is how to stay healthy, quick easy meals, meal prepping, and all that good stuff.

 

Any favorite recipes from the program?

It’s not a recipe but the last one we did was four different kinds of apples. It was really cool because we had different kinds of dipping sauces. The kids tried every single one of them and voted which of them were their favorite. We had it all on a board and drawn out. That was my favorite because it was watching the kids trying and experimenting. A lot of the parents saw their children eat everything and was surprised to find that that their kids liked it because they could never get their children to try anything. It was great for the kids be independent to try and vote for what they like. The parents were surprised by watching their kids try anything. They really enjoyed it and the parents returned to buy some more apples.

 

When you do these workshops, are the parents just as engaged or are the kids more independent?

So we had different stations set up throughout. We had a big table where they could make their own trail mixes. I like to add whole grain cereal, popcorn, mini chocolate chips, dried fruit, and nuts. We really really encourage kids to do it by themselves. It depends on the parents and kids. We were there to help the kids rather than the parents, but it all depends because some kids are very shy and young so some parents may be more involved. The older kids are allowed to do be more independent because it was more for them to be comfortable to be around food and choosing what do they like.

 

Have any families brought knowledge taken from these classes back into their own kitchen at home?

I have some parents that are recurring customers and they continue to tell me how much they and the kids enjoy it. I like to think they kept something from these classes.

 

Some of these classes a geared towards low-income schools, any advice on ensuring affordable but also healthy meals?

My background in undergrad is human resources. We focused on accessibility and I think that is really important for everything because everybody has that in mind, but especially a common misconception of eating well is that it can be very expensive. Fruits and vegetable are the main focus. My plate guideline is to have half the plate fruits and vegetable. That is where I like to start people when I am recommending healthy eating practice. 90% of the people are not getting the recommended fruits and veggies. We’re really good at eating meat and really good at eating refined carbohydrates and sweets, but not so much whole grain, fruits, and veggies. Focusing that all forms of fruits and veggies are important meaning not only fresh but canned and frozen as well. There so much nutritional noise out there and misconceptions that canned food is bad for you. No, I rather you eat canned corn if that’s the only vegetable available. I really think educating all the different ways you can eat well: eating in season, looking for those deals, and not wasting food. Incorporating that knowledge and information is important to gauge parents. The recipes we give to kids are from thebetterhealthstore.org. They are very budget friendly.

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JLCU April Meeting Recap, Guest Panel on Fundraising and Development

Members were welcomed to the monthly membership meeting by our president, Jennifer Romine. Minutes from March were approved and will be posted on the website for members to review. Continue reading JLCU April Meeting Recap, Guest Panel on Fundraising and Development

JLCU Sustainer Spotlight: Danielle Wilberg and Ryann Monahan of PROJECT ATHLETES

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Photo provided by PROJECT ATHLETES.

Two JLCU Sustainers, Danielle Wilberg and Ryann Monahan, have been involved with the start and continued growth of a newer non-profit to the Champaign-Urbana, PROJECT ATHLETES. Continue reading JLCU Sustainer Spotlight: Danielle Wilberg and Ryann Monahan of PROJECT ATHLETES

JLCU Project Update: Kids in the Kitchen

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Kids participate in a fun activity with University of Illinois Cheerleaders at the October KITK event.

Every month, Junior League of Champaign-Urbana members visit the Don Moyer Boys and Girls Club to teach healthy eating and cooking skills to kids in our community. This project, Kids in the Kitchen (KITK), is one of the many exciting ways that JLCU is supporting families in our area. Since the start of the Junior League year in September, KITK has held four events, each on the first Thursday of the month. The children spend time learning a new recipe and nutrition, and then participate in a fun physical activity, usually with special guests. Continue reading JLCU Project Update: Kids in the Kitchen

JLCU Awards Fall 2016 Community Assistance Fund Grants to Local Groups

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Photo source:  kentdballard @ Pixabay.com 

Community Assistance Fund (CAF) Grants are awarded twice per year to organizations and groups in the Champaign-Urbana area who demonstrate need and whose missions align with JLCU focus areas. JLCU focus areas include literacy, school preparedness, women, health and hunger, and child protection and welfare.

In October, we announced the seven recipients of a total of $1,750 in CAF grants.

The recipients are: Continue reading JLCU Awards Fall 2016 Community Assistance Fund Grants to Local Groups

JLCU October General Membership Meeting Recap

 

img_9025Junior League of Champaign-Urbana (JLCU) changed meeting locations this month and convened at the Urbana Early Childhood School – the location of JLCU’s Bright Starts program!  Principal Vowels left a note thanking JLCU for their “unwavering support of early childhood education” and stated that JLCU’s commitment “not only has an immediate effect but will benefit the community in the future.”  Continue reading JLCU October General Membership Meeting Recap

Guest Post: JLCU Advocacy Efforts in Champaign-Urbana and the Importance of Voting in November’s Election

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Lonndon Blake, Public Affairs and Advocacy Chair

What a more fitting time for our government elections to be held in November; the month we give thanks for all the opportunities and blessings we have been afforded.  Although our country is in a time of change, we have the ability to create the change we want to see.   There are many countries throughout the world that do not receive the option to vote, so please exercise your right to vote choosing the best option for you and your needs while continuing your advocacy efforts within the community.

Within Junior League of Champaign Urbana, we train all members in the area of advocacy so we can be effective leaders in the community.  One of our most important advocacy efforts in the Champaign-Urbana area is education.   As many of you are aware, Champaign-Urbana and the surrounding areas have a significant wait-list for preschool.  At that tender age, children are at their most critical time for learning and development and many children in our community are being underserved due to the funding of education in our state.  JLCU has recognized a need in the community for preschools and took action by creating a program called Bright Starts, a Kindergarten readiness program, to help give those children on the wait-list a leg up.  Along with creating programs for our education advocacy area, we as an organization visited our State Capital in Springfield during Early Childhood Education Advocacy Day. During this visit, we met one on one with our legislators to encourage educational changes and/or policies for the betterment of our state and local community.

Bright Starts is a wonderful example of how we advocate for education in the community, but there are other advocacy efforts we participate in, such as Kids in the Kitchen in partnership with the Don Moyer Boys and Girls Club.  Kids in the Kitchen is an Association of Junior League International (AJLI) – wide health initiative to help prevent childhood obesity.  JLCU may be most widely known for our advocacy regarding women and children, but we should also be known as an organization committed to this community and to organizations that may need a helping hand with their advocacy efforts.