"For me is just the overall need to give back. I am very blessed in my own life and I have the time, so why not do something productive for others?"
For me is just the overall need to give back. I am very blessed in my own life
and I have the time, so why not do something productive for others?
What's a foodie with a desire to help others to do? In Becky Bongiovi's case, it's teaming up with a lifelong friend, Karen Bryant, to make a difference by showing adults with special needs how to eat healthier.
“For me is just the overall need to give back. I am very blessed in my own life and I have the time, so why not do something productive for others?”
Becky and Karen met during high school in central New Jersey. The two built a solid friendship that now extends to serving others. They started out volunteering at a nearby soup kitchen, and while the two friends grew passionate about helping others, they wondered if they were making any long-term impact.
“We were making bagged lunches for those in need, and trying to give them healthier options. It felt good to be feeding hungry people, but we wanted to make a more lasting impact,” said Becky. “Karen and I found Jersey Cares, and they supported our idea of using healthy menu options for their Cooking Creations events.”
The duo now hosts two events per month at Midland Adult Services, a facility that provides housing and other services to adults with special needs. The goal of Cooking Creations is to provide residents with recipes and instruction on how to cook healthier meals, even on a budget. Becky develops simple recipes that incorporate wholesome, healthy ingredients. It is an effort that fits what Becky and Karen wanted to do: make a lasting impact on people’s lives.
Becky also volunteers at her father’s assisted living home, where she helps find ways for the seniors to volunteer their own time. When she's taking time for herself, Becky can often be found hanging out in her garden with her husband and cat Pippin, or reading from a cookbook looking for the next great recipe!