$500 – Fish Fund
Teton High School Seniors declared, “Let them eat fish!,” after hearing from Executive Director, River Osborn speak about specific benefits seniors would glean from the proposed Fish Fund, during this year’s Youth Philanthropy Program.
Seniors West of the Tetons provides health, nutrition, and social connections for seniors in Teton Valley. One of their cornerstone programs provides hot lunches to seniors in the community, five days a week, by donation – no one is ever turned away due to inability to pay. Each month they send their menu to a State Nutritionist to make sure that they are meeting Recommended Daily Allowances for protein, vitamins, and nutrients. A critique often received from the nutritionist is that their menus are heavy on red meat, due to an annually donated steer.
SWOT would like to substitute fish for some of the red meat currently offered. The nutrients found in seafood are important to brain health. Many types of fish and seafood are rich in omega-3s, which may reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and cognitive decline. For this reason, the Alzheimer’s Association recommends that people should eat more fish high in omega-3s. Eating fish also promotes joint health, helps combat eye conditions such as macular degeneration, and slows bone density loss which can lead to osteoporosis. Part of the organization’s mission is to promote health and nutrition -by serving fish weekly they can meet two needs at once.
Several years ago through a Community Foundation grant, SWOT purchased a salad bar. Since that time a daily salad with a variety of vegetables has been a feature at meals. They have also increased the number of vegetarian options on their menus. Adding more meals featuring fish will continue this development toward healthier and varied meals.
Students understood the benefits a Fish Fund would bring seniors and chose to partially fund this grant with a total of $500. SWOT is seeking out matching donations to complete their 2020 Fish Fund through other nonprofits, such as Teton Valley Health, private businesses, and community members.