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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


• GBCA Jersey City Head Start at Nelson

93 Nelson Avenue, Jersey City, NJ 07307


• GBCA Head Start at Cliffside Park

263 Lafayette Avenue, Cliffside Park, NJ 07010


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


Greater Bergen Community Action (GBCA) is a 501(c)(3), not-for-profit Community Action Agency. Established in 1967, Greater Bergen is part of a nationwide network of poverty-fighting enterprises which were established as part of the nation’s effort to address the intractable and persistent problem of poverty in America. For more information about GBCA, go to


GBCA's Head Start and Early Head Start programs are open to all income eligible families. All services are responsive to each child and family's ethnic, cultural, and linguistic heritage. GBCA Head Start/Early Head Start families gain easy access to all appropriate services and programs of GBCA, including housing, education and financial/banking resources. For more information or to enroll, go to


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