Age Minimum (with Adult): 18+, Minimum Age:18+
Healthy Choices at Oakley Square
Description During the project, there will be an opening/introduction led by Volunteer Leader and Site Representative, then volunteers will participate in the service activity and finally there will be a closing and reflection activity. Volunteers will participate in an opening activity that helps them understand the correlation of healthy food choices to healthy living and some factors behind why this is an inequity inside the Oakley Square community. After the opening activity volunteers will then engage in cooking a healthy meal with youth will interacting in a health activity to support education behind healthy choices. Volunteers will finally, reflect on service activity and be encouraged to participate in other health and wellness pathway opportunities. Oakley Square is made up of several buildings surrounded by a gate and wall. Tell security at the entrance that you are there to volunteer with Chicago Cares and show your government photo ID. Parking is available in the lot. You will meet in the demonstration kitchen in building 2334, the southern-most tower. From the front entrance, walk/drive right to the second building in the center lot. Building 2334 faces Van Buren. Once at building 2334, enter the main entrance through the glass door on the right. The kitchen is on the 1st floor directly west of the elevators.
Transit Information This location is accessible via the #20 Madison bus west toward Austin. Get off at Western. Turn left and walk south on Western. A gated entrance will be on your right. Blue Line: From the loop, take the blue line toward Forest Park. Get off at Western. Walk north on Western. A gated entrance will be on your right. Oakley Square is made up of several buildings surrounded by a gate and wall, the entrance is on Western. Tell security at the entrance that you are there to volunteer with Chicago Cares and show your photo ID. Parking is available in the lot. You will meet in the demonstration kitchen in building 2334, the southern-most tower. From the front entrance, walk/drive right to the second building in the center lot. Building 2334 faces Van Buren. Once at building 2334, enter the main entrance through the glass door on the right. The kitchen is on the 1st floor directly west of the elevators.
Program Goal By volunteering at this project, volunteers will engage in teaching nutrition and healthy choices to the children who reside at Oakley Square Apartments. This opportunity allow the youth to practice healthy meal prep and eating. Students will be able to plan recipes, prepare food items and cook dishes with the help of volunteers. Additionally, the leader and volunteers will provide Social Emotional Learning techniques to create self-awareness, self-management and social awareness, while promoting relationship skills and responsible decision-making. Impact of Program Healthy Choices @ Oakley Square is part of Chicago Cares Health & Wellness journey. Volunteers who serve in this project will learn food insecurity and health are closely linked, as people living in food insecure homes experience face barriers to adopting healthy habits. These challenges can affect a person’s physical and mental health, putting them at risk for developing chronic health issues such as hypertension and diabetes. This program educates volunteers on food insecurity and changes in food pantry environments that support autonomy and healthy choices. By deepening their knowledge of food insecurity in Chicago, volunteers will become effective advocates for autonomy (client choice models) and healthier choices (“Food as Medicine”) and, through this program and others on the pathway, be equipped to connect with organizations that increase access to and knowledge about access to healthy and diverse food options.
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