AtlantiCare Hosts JFS Client Dinner

Posted on August 28, 2014

AtlantiCare hosted a dinner for JFS mental health consumers on Tuesday, August 19th at a housing property in Pleasantville. This hands-on evening included harvesting and preparing the vegetables used during dinner as well as an educational workshop to help improve the health and wellness of attendees. AtlantiCare representatives explained the various vegetables and how attendees could incorporate healthy alternatives into their meals.

“Clients are open to eating more vegetables but aren’t sure of ways to implement them into easy meals,” said Clare Malchiodi, Associate Director of Enhanced Supportive Housing at JFS. “This dinner offered them a great opportunity to realize they can still eat the meals they enjoy, but just add healthy components to create a more balanced diet.”

The dinner featured quick and traditional recipes, including pasta mixed with roasted vegetables and a tossed salad, both of which incorporated fresh eggplant, zucchini, peppers and tomatoes from the JFS community garden. The community garden, funded by AtlantiCare and built in April 2014, consists of three raised beds and was created to improve the nutrition and physical activity of community volunteers and to help foster social interactions among mental health care consumers in the Pleasantville area.

“We want consumers to be able to utilize the community garden as much as possible and learn about the nutritional value of vegetables,” said Laura Engelmann, health educator at AtlantiCare. “Learning practical ways to include vegetables and healthy foods in meals can improve overall health. The dinner demonstration engaged diners. We look forward to hearing other ways they incorporate the harvest into the diets.”

For more information about the JFS Community Garden or other Health and Wellness Initiatives, please visit or call 609-822-1108.