Helping America's Most Vulnerable

Smoothie Tuesday, Thanks Juice Plus!

At the Maine Coastal Regional Reentry Center (MCRRC) in Belfast, Maine, everyone looks forward to "Smoothie Tuesday"

Residents of MCRRC make protein-rich smoothies using the Juice Plus Complete shake mix in the donated Vita-Mix blender.

MCRRC residents work in the kitchen every day helping to cook meals for fellow residents - approximately 30 men. Meals are healthy and nutritious, but having an extra source of protein is much appreciated by men who are making many changes as they prepare for their return to the community. The Reentry Center, serving men who are completing the last 6-12 months of their incarceration, provides them opportunities to turn their lives around – with counseling, education, employment and healthy recreation.

For the past six months, hundreds of nutritious drinks high in protein have been whipped up by residents and some staff of the Reentry Center. This is a time when Detention Manager Bobbie Walker, who dedicates himself to exercise and fitness, can mix it up with the guys at the Center. He mixes in fruit and vegetables; (rumor is he made a beets n' berries drink, but a video review reveals no proof of this radical combo). He shares his knowledge of health and nutrition and the residents appreciate it when Captain Walker lets down his hair (metaphorically speaking) and becomes Bobbie, the king of smoothies.

Residents learn to take advantage of fruit and vegetables when available (and since they help at a three acre community garden, there's plenty of veggies). With Vita-mix, residents get the benefit of protein, minerals, and fiber while enhancing the flavor with a food that, in the past, they might not have considered eating. They are increasing their knowledge of healthy eating and being introduced to wider range of fruit and vegetables.

Volunteers of America Northern New England is very grateful to Juice Plus for the donation of the industrial grade blender and Juice Plus Complete shake mix. We have created a nutritional outreach program that is both fun and healthful. Thank you for giving us a great tool for educating our residents and giving them another opportunity to improve their lives. Juice Plus is a great partner.