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GBCA Head Start Hosts a “Lunch and Learn” for Students

Hackensack, NJ – Greater Bergen Community Action Inc.’s (GBCA) Head Start and Early Head Start Programs are hosting healthy lunch events led by the programs’ Food and Nutrition Department featuring a fall season favorite: butternut squash. The event, in alignment with the program’s health and nutrition curriculum, will be held on Thursday, November 21st, 2019 at the following locations and times:

GBCA Paterson Head Start at Eastside 500 East 35th Street, Paterson, NJ 07504 2:15p.m. GBCA Jersey City Head Start at Nelson 93 Nelson Avenue, Jersey City, NJ 07307 2:30p.m. GBCA Head Start at Cliffside Park 263 Lafayette Avenue, Cliffside Park, NJ 07010 2:15p.m.

Children enrolled in the Early Head Start and Head Start programs will explore the squash in its raw form and engage in various sensory activities, including tasting butternut squash soup prepared by their school’s kitchen staff, while also learning about squash’s nutritional value. Students will be encouraged to touch, smell and share their thoughts on whole squash while learning its importance to vision and a healthy heart. During the learning event, GBCA Head Start children will also participate in physical activities such as a “sink or float” test with the squash that will showcase its density and that it’s made up of water.

This initiative is designed to engage the minds of GBCA Head Start and Early Head Start students while expanding their palates and providing wholesome nutrition at mealtime.

Parents of the children enrolled in GBCA Head Start and Early Head Start are encouraged to try the Butternut Squash Soup at the Main Entrance during pick up. Associate Director of Food and Nutrition, Audra Tamayo, says “Butternut squash is an excellent source of Vitamin A and Vitamin C which are especially important vitamins for fighting off colds in the winter months. It is also naturally very sweet, so we are hoping that the children, and parents, will be more likely to try it, and maybe even like it.”

Recipe cards, available in English, Spanish and Arabic, will be available for parents to prepare the soup at home. Additionally, each family will receive an information sheet about butternut squash, including its nutritious properties, fast facts, an additional kid-friendly recipe, and a puzzle for children to put together. As part of its health and nutrition initiatives, Greater Bergen Community Action’s Food and Nutrition Department highlights a new healthy food item each month. To learn more about GBCA’s Head Start and Early Head Start Program, visit

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