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The Health and Wellness team offers a number of learning opportunities to the public beyond healthy cooking and nutrition. Community program offerings include HeartSavr, ServSafe, and more. Our latest exercise is C.O.P.E., the Cost of Poverty Experience, created by Think Tank, Inc.

The C.O.P.E. training offers a glimpse into the lives of families impacted by poverty in America by having participants experience the daily realities of families living on a low income. Participants must go through “four weeks,” following in the footsteps of real experiences, attempting to accomplish different tasks while managing various challenges.

The goal of C.O.P.E. is to deepen organizations’ understanding of the complexities of living in poverty and create an urgency for groups to partner with low-income communities. The program was designed to build empathy for our neighbors, create a deeper understanding of the many factors that affect poverty, and offer new perspectives on how to address poverty in our neighborhoods.

The Food Bank staff participated in the training during a staff meeting earlier this year. Now, our community programs team is offering C.O.P.E. to other organizations and individuals. We’re excited to be creating more opportunities for others to learn and, in turn, more opportunities for those in South Jersey to thrive.


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