May 20, 2018
 
Friendship Home Gets $150K to Work with Community Servings

January 19, 2018 — Friendship Home, a Norwell nonprofit that provides respite and support services for individuals with developmental disabilities and their families, yesterday announced it has been awarded $150,000 from the Coverys Community Healthcare Foundation for overnight respite and a nutritional educational program.

The three-year grant will enable Friendship Home to partner with Boston-based Community Servings to educate adults who stay at Friendship Home’s Home Away from Home overnight respite center, their families, and Friendship Home staff on healthy eating choices through experiential nutrition training.

“Friendship Home is thrilled that the Coverys Foundation will support our overnight respite program and this integral nutritional program, which stresses the value of a healthy diet and lifestyle," said Andrea Pyke, executive director of Friendship Home.

"If we educate our guests about healthy lifestyles while they stay with us on the weekend, it’s more likely that they will bring these tools home and apply them in their daily living. Family involvement in the program is also essential as we continue to make our members’ health and well-being a top priority.”

The program, called Launching Expanded Access to Respite and Nutrition, or LEARN, will integrate nutrition education into the Friendship Homes continuum of care, creating a robust nutrition education program that will benefit Friendship Home guests and caregivers.

“We are very excited to partner with Friendship Home to provide nutrition education for their respite program,” said Alison Schissler, manager of nutrition services at Community Servings. “We will be incorporating hands-on activities and recipe demonstrations for a fun and educational experience. To ensure a lasting nutrition program, we will also be training Friendship Home staff to lead nutrition classes independently once the grant period ends.”

Friendship Home said that for more than five years its overnight respite program has provided critical support to the families of individuals with developmental disabilities, who are exhausted from providing daily care and struggle with other priorities, such as caring for other family members and themselves.

“Anything we can do to support these families is a win/win for us. Learning independent living skills goes hand-in-hand with making the right food choices. This population statistically experiences secondary diet-related health conditions such as fatigue and weight problems, which further limit their quality of life. Proper nutrition can reduce these secondary conditions and prevent additional health conditions,” Pyke said.

Community Servings provides services to individuals and families living with critical and chronic illnesses in New England, and offers nutrition education and counseling to more than 2,400 people each year, engaging nutritionally vulnerable populations around food, nutrition, and good health.

In addition to providing overnight respite care, Friendship Home enriches the lives of individuals with developmental disabilities and their families by providing vocational and social recreational programs.

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