CCGB Board Members Visit Eat Smart Marketplace @ Merton House

The CCGB has been working with partner organizations and residents in the Bridgeport area to tackle the important issue of healthy food access for many years.

One such thriving partnership is with the Thomas Merton House, located at 43 Madison Avenue, here in Bridgeport. The Merton House serves a community meal, Monday-Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

In addition, they operate the Eat Smart Marketplace, a food pantry open to shoppers Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

According to Michelle McCabe, Director for Food Equity & Economic Development at the CCGB, "Eat Smart Marketplace is a model example of a food pantry offering a grocery store experience. Shoppers can select what items they want and there is a large variety of food. In addition, Eat Smart is a great partner in testing new ideas. Currently, Eat Smart is one of three pilot sites for the Supporting Wellness at Pantries Initiative or SWAP, developed by St. Joseph's University and the UCONN Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity. SWAP is a traffic light nutrition ranking system that helps shoppers identify foods as those to eat often (green), eat moderately (yellow) and eat rarely (red). It is one of the many ways we are hoping to help people make choices that support their health and encourage donors to supply those healthier items."

Over the years, the CCGB has assisted 40 food pantries and community meal programs increase the amount of healthy foods they distribute and serve; provided nutrition and culinary education workshops and food samplings at pantries, and low-income residential housing units, and so much more.

Last week 3 of CCGB's Board Members - Margaret Mary Fitzgerald, Bruce Kueffner and Valzie Peterkin - toured the Eat Smart Marketplace with Michelle and Miriam Bonhomme, AmeriCorps VISTA with CCGB, to see all of the great work being done at the Merton House.

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