Peer Health Educator continues Fresh Food Box initiative

Program aims to alleviate stress of meal planning 

PHE plans to diversify Fresh Food Box recipes.
Fresh Food Box was started by Queen’s students in September 2019. The initiative aims to increase access to nutritious and affordable meals for Queen’s students. 
Fresh Food Box provides healthy and affordable ingredients with recipe instructions. 
“Our goal is to show students that an affordable well-balanced meal is possible, even on a student budget," Abby Taher and Tristan Montag, both ArtSci ’22 and the Healthy Eating Team Co-Leaders,  said in an email to The Journal. 
The Healthy Eating Team and Healthy Cooking Team are both part of the Peer Health Educator (PHE) program—a peer-led outreach program comprised of volunteers focused on mental fitness, sexual health, and healthy eating and cooking at Queen’s.
PHE aims to implement health outreach initiatives and promote student food literacy. 
“This initiative aims to alleviate some of the stress that may come with meal planning and eating each week, particularly among food-insecure students,” Taher and Montag said. 
“We recognize that cooking can feel like a chore, especially during a pandemic, so we hope that the Fresh Food Box can be a small way to brighten someone’s day and keep us all connected in the kitchen.”
The boxes are priced at $5 each. Each box comes with ingredients for three to four servings. 
Students can register online to pick up their Fresh Food Box.
The Healthy Cooking Team works together to pick groceries based on the chosen recipe,  according to Taher and Montag. The Healthy Eating Team then packs and distributes the boxes.
Montag and Taher are committed to promoting food literacy in the student community.
“This year, we are very excited to be diversifying our recipes in order to provide meals from a variety of different cuisines.” 
Fresh Food Box is collaborating with Four Directions Indigenous Student Centre and the Yellow House to come up with new recipes for the coming months. 
In 2020, the PHE also started offering virtual cooking sessions based on the food boxes to create a sense of community and increase student confidence in cooking. Run by the Healthy Cooking team, students can join the live session on Zoom once they pick up a box. 
In partnership with Queen’s Hospitality Services, PHE hopes to decrease their carbon footprint by mindfully purchasing groceries and doing so in bulk to reduce single-use plastic. 
Students wishing to contribute to this initiative can apply to be a part of the PHE program.
Applications open each February for the following academic year. 

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