Healthy Living Initiative Classes

The Food Bank of South Jersey’s core mission of feeding people includes their health as equally important as the food we distribute. The Healthy Living Initiative (HLI) is our way to ensure that the people we serve have access to knowledge of healthy eating and cooking and how to best use the products that we provide to improve their health and manage health concerns. Click here to submit a partnership application.

View a list of the classes we offer Here.

Healthy Cooking Recipes

See below for our healthy cooking recipe of the month! Want more healthy recipes? Click here to order a copy of our Healthy Living Cookbook or search the online database for great recipes by ingredient!

Recipe of the Month: CHOCOLATE CHIP CHICKPEA COOKIES Download the Recipe Card.

Tower Gardens

The Healthy Living Initiative has installed aeroponic gardening systems at senior living facilities, schools, and food pantries throughout the four counties in the FBSJ service network. These vertical gardens require no soil and no natural sunlight and hold 20-28 plants. A 20-gallon water reservoir with a pump system circulates water through the tower. Both the water pump and lights are set on timers and run throughout the day. Each tower requires 4 square feet of floor space and at least 6 feet of vertical space. Other than that all the towers need are an electrical outlet and to be checked on several times per week. Tower gardens are perfect for seniors who can no longer work in a traditional garden and work well as a learning tool for students. In the tower, plants grow 2-3 times more quickly than they would in soil. Herbs, lettuce, and stalk vegetables can be enjoyed in no time at all!

Check out a recent tower garden success story at

To apply for a tower garden at your site, please submit a partnership application using the link below.

Would you like to bring live cooking demonstrations to your facility?

Click here to submit a partnership application.

Frequently Asked Questions



  1. Are cooking classes open to the public?

HLI classes are arranged through partnerships between the Food Bank of South Jersey (FBSJ) and organizations serving southern NJ residents in need. HLI classes are open to the people served by our partners in the community. For example, in the case of a Cooking Matters for Kids course held at an elementary school, the participating children must be enrolled in the school.

  1. Where are HLI classes and demonstrations offered?

HLI classes and demonstrations most often take place at the following locations:

  • Houses of worship
  • Head Start centers
  • Healthcare centers
  • Hope Mobile distribution sites
  • Senior residences
  • K-12 schools

Please contact Kimberly Hill at and 856-662-4884 x 146 if you are interested in hosting a class or demonstration at a location not mentioned above.

  1. How do I bring a class or demonstration to my organization?

If your organization would like to bring a healthy cooking class or demonstration to your community, please complete an application by clicking here.

  1. How much do HLI classes and demonstrations cost?

Please visit our online application for the cost of HLI classes and demonstrations. FBSJ regularly applies for grant funding to cover the majority of the costs associated with HLI programming. Partners are asked to contribute a minimum of 10% of the total cost of the activities selected on the application.

We welcome the opportunity to partner on grants with other organizations. Please contact Kimberly Hill at and 856-662-4884 x 146 if you would like to discuss a grant application partnership.

  1. What impact do HLI classes have on the participants?

Creative Research and Evaluation, LLC conducted a study in 2016 with participants from Healthy Living Initiative (HLI) classes. The study showed HLI courses strengthen efforts in the community to reduce nutritional insecurity. After taking at least one HLI class:

  • Participants report learning how to identify healthy foods using MyPlate guidelines and label reading.
  • Participants report changes in eating, shopping and cooking habits.
  • Participants report trying and enjoying new foods and recipes during courses and demonstrations.
  • Participants report that they enjoy the structure of the courses and appreciate the instructors.
  • Participants report sharing information and/or cooking recipes at home after taking courses.

CLICK HERE to read the full report for classes in Camden County, NJ.

CLICK HERE to read the full report for classes in Salem County, NJ.