UpLift Solutions Press Release – June 21, 2017


Contact Audrey Fish

Telephone 856.471.2008

Cell 856.889.5597

Email Audrey.fish@upliftsolutions.org

Website www.upliftsolutions.org



Westville, NJ June 21, 2017–UpLift Workforce Solutions will host a Celebration Graduation for the first Graduating class on Wednesday, July 5, 2017 at 2pm in the Family Life Center at Enon Tabernacle Baptist Church 2800 W Cheltenham Ave, Philadelphia, PA.

The class of 25 of men and woman have completed a six-week, supermarket-based, on-the- job training program designed to create second-chance employment opportunities for re-entering citizens in and around Philadelphia.

Their voices were heard loud and clear as they completed their last week of training.

-“This second chance is helping me build the life skills to be a better person.”

-“After years of getting doors shut in my face because of the mistakes I made over 15 years ago, today -I have a true chance to provide for my family.”

-“Not only am I going to be employed. I’ve found a new purpose in life.”

-“I feel like I have something to get up for, to come home to, and when I lay my head on the pillow; I have something to be proud of.”

The UpLift Workforce Solutions program is based on rebuilding people and teaching life skills that will benefit them in and out of the work place. The hard and soft skills are taught in a classroom environment and each participant that successfully completes the six-week classroom portion of the program will be offered a position at one of UpLift’s partners.

“We all know the barriers faced by folks who have a criminal record. The idea was to completely turn on its head and not just create a job training program that ends in a job — a guaranteed job – but that ends in a career. We believe someone’s mistakes in the past should not dictate their future.”-Barry Johnson, Workforce Solutions Director.

Annually, over 36,000 people pass through Philadelphia city jails, 18,000 people are released from prison in Pennsylvania and over 300,000 people living in Philly have criminal records. Current laws and perceptions have created barriers for these individuals to achieve permanent long-term employment. Due to a lack of opportunity, many of these individuals decide their only option for survival is to re-engage in past behavior. This cycle has led to an 80 percent recidivism rate and long-term structural poverty.

UpLift, to strengthen, heal & inspire; is a national consultancy that supports food businesses, governments, nonprofits, healthcare systems and more to create access to food, access to healthcare, access to capital and access to jobs in underserved communities.

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If you would like more information about this topic, please contact Audrey Fish at 856.889.5597 or email at Audrey.fish@upliftsolutions.org.

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Colored Foods Matter: Five Creative, Fresh Ways to use the color red to stay healthy.


-Berry melon bruschetta

-Turkey burgers with grilled watermelon

-Infused watermelon water

-Watermelon salsa w/mint and feta

-Greek yogurt and watermelon salad dressing

Benefits of Watermelon:

-Great source of Potassium, Magnesium, and Thiamine

-Has zero saturated fat, zero cholesterol, and zero sodium in a standard serving

-92% of watermelon is comprised of water; fantastic way to increase your water intake

-L-Citrulline (an amino acid within watermelon) helps to maintain blood flow in the heart

-Tasty in smoothies, fruit salads, yogurt parfaits, and cupcakes

-Its sweet taste makes it an easy, healthy dessert alternative

Fun Facts about Watermelon

-Makes delicious grilled kabobs

-Africa’s Kalahari Desert is watermelon’s place of origin

-American’s consume watermelon more than any other melon

-One watermelon can feed 3-dozen people

-Available year round

As you can see, watermelon can be used simply as an ingredient in a fresh fruit salad or as something more complex like a watermelon-based cupcake. This summer, I urge you to try a new recipe adding watermelon into it—whether it is integrated into your 4th of July cookout in a grilled watermelon burger or into your daily smoothie. Watermelon is a wonderful way to satisfy your sugar cravings and not feel guilty about it. For more kid/family-friendly recipes staring watermelon, visit http://www.superhealthykids.com/recipe-category/watermelon/. Enjoy!

Ashley Benton– UpLift Solutions Summer Intern

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Why do Colored Foods Matter – June Blog

I grew up thinking that eating meat and potatoes for every meal was the definition of a healthy diet.  As I got older, the pounds quickly packed on and I felt tired and sluggish.  Today, I’m re-learning the real meaning of eating balanced meals.

I’ve recently come on board as the Communication Manager at UpLift.  I quickly learned America is sick.  Very sick.  40% of us are overweight, 50% are on cholesterol medications. And we spend over 2 trillion annually on health care.  And even though we spend massive amounts of money on ‘health care’, over 1 million Americans are killed each year by heart disease and cancer.  Even still, ⅓ of people born in the U.S. today will develop diabetes during their lifetime. These numbers are even worse if you live in a low-income community with no access to healthy food.

UpLift’s Director of Health Innovation, Victoria Della Rocca RD, LDN preaches the notion that food is medicine. Just imagine—food as medicine.  Can chronic diseases be controlled or even be reversed just by eating the right foods?   Victoria and the team of dietitians at UpLift promote healthy lifestyles and provide nutritional education that is making a difference.

Thomas Edison said–“The doctor of the future will no longer treat the human frame with drugs, but rather will cure and prevent disease with nutrition.”

Now is the best time for you to load up on in-season fresh fruits and vegetables.  Red, blue, yellow and the entire rainbow of bright colored fruits and veggies provide amazing health benefits.  We call it —Colored Foods Matter.

Anthocyanins are responsible for red and purple colors in foods can help keep your mind sharp.

Lycopene that turns watermelon and tomatoes red may also help prevent certain types of cancers.

Beta carotene that makes carrots and sweet potatoes orange can help keep your bones strong, your eyes healthy and boost your immune system.

Eat your (Greens):
List several different green fruits and vegetables: Spinach, Kiwi, Avocado, Kale, Broccoli
There are various green fruits and vegetables that can lower cholesterol, help prevent certain cancers, boost your immune system, and stabilize blood sugars.

Red fruits and vegetables have anti-inflammatory effects and can help reduce blood pressure.

Stay tuned this month as the UpLift health solution staff will continue talking about how Colored foods matter. Join our Facebook Group page —Health Bites with Health Solutions.  We’ll have tips, interesting information and recipes you can use every day.

Having access to fresh and healthy food is a fundamental right for everyone. Yet over 23 million Americans live in areas without supermarkets or other places where they can access fresh, nutritious foods. The problem may not lie solely with food accessibility; it could also be due to people’s shopping and eating habits.  Health and nutrition education will lead to a healthier America.

Audrey Fish – UpLift Communications Manager

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UpLift’s MAY BLOG: Workforce Solutions

The stress of searching for a job with a criminal record can be overwhelming. Over 40,000 people return to Philadelphia from state and federal prison every year, approximately 44,000 people in Philadelphia are on probation at any given time and over 300,000 people living in Philly have criminal records.

When individuals are released from jails or prisons, they are faced with the task of finding resources with limited guidance and immediate needs. Many of these men and women re-entering our community from incarceration struggle with a social stigma that can make it even more difficult to find stability and feeling accepted. Stable employment is one of the strongest predictors of a returning citizen’s post release success, including recidivism, whereas finding employment is one of the greatest barriers to successful reintegration. The potential is great, therefore, for work programs to improve their financial, personal, and professional success and ability to contribute more fully as citizens.

I’m proud to be part of a new program at UpLift called Workforce Solutions. My name is Barry Johnson and I’m the Director for Workforce Solutions. We are a heartbeat away from cutting the ribbon on something that will bring new life for those struggling to find a new beginning. We are going to train formally incarcerate individuals to reenter the workforce. The program will focus on developing both hard and soft skills of re-entering citizens; whereas, each participant that successfully completes the six-week classroom portion of the program will be offered a position at Brown’s Super Stores.

During their enrollment, the Workforce Solutions staff will provide supportive services such as finding GED classes, applying for a State ID and taking their driving permit exam. Workforce Solution’s is also proud to have partnered with community organizations to assist with any other challenges such as housing and mental health. Additionally, program participants will maintain engagement with case management personnel throughout their employment.

When we started looking for recruitments, I did not expect the overwhelming level of responses. My voicemail and email have been filled daily with stories from men and women who have been struggling to find a job. Some are just worn out from years of being turned away. Others are close to giving up. They are desperate and looking for a way to make a living for themselves and their families. We know that employment is the key to keeping people from returning to prison. Many of these individuals, due to a lack of opportunity, decide their only option for survival is to re-engage in past behavior. This cycle has led to an 80 percent recidivism rate and long-term structural poverty.

UpLift Workforce Solutions is creating opportunities where they don’t exist. We are developing strong partnerships to strengthen this unique training program. Uplift’s Workforce Solutions understands the priority of employment and self-sufficiency and has taken reentry to a new and exciting place. Uplift Workforce Solutions are thrilled about this initiative and are looking forward to helping returning citizens rebuild their lives.

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Barry Johnson is the Director of Workforce Solutions for UpLift. For nearly fifteen years Mr. Johnson has spent his career leading reentry programs and ensuring a successful transition for returning citizens. His diverse background and focus on community collaboration has led him to several opportunities and leadership roles. Mr. Johnson is a Navy veteran who has previously worked for the Pennsylvania Prison Society, JEVS Human Services and the Center for Literacy.  Barry Johnson received his Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from University of Maryland, College Park and holds an MBA from the University of California at Irvine.

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