BROOKLYN — A Brooklyn juicery is raising money to bring free fruit and vegetable drinks to thousands of kids in the borough.
House of Juice, which specializes in organic cold-pressed juices, smoothies and probiotic beverages, launched a fundraiser this month for its “Feeding 1,000 Kids” initiative.
Owner Danii Oliver hopes to serve drinks to 1,000 children each month at local pop-up events in an effort to educate families on the importance of healthy eating.
“We’re really focusing on the food deserts of Brooklyn where organic foods are really not available,” Oliver said.
A 2014 study from the New York Academy of Medicine found that majority of Brooklyn residents expressed an interest in organic produce but complained of the high costs.
Oliver said she and husband Kevin Braithwaite are looking to provide the free beverages to teach parents that it’s possible to engage young children in nutritional habits.
“Some parents immediately assume that green juice is not for kids and they won’t like it, but we want to work with our community to showcase that kids do like fruits and vegetables -- we just have to give it to them.”
Oliver uses her daughter Ivy as an example: the two-year-old, who’s on a vegan diet, can’t get enough of chia seeds, sprouts and zucchini sticks, she said.
House of Juice already offers a line of products for children called Ivy’s Juice Box, along with a Kid’s Culinary Program.
“Kids love it and are always asking for more, and you’d be surprised to see that they’re the ones ordering wheatgrass,” Oliver added.
Beverages for children and adults are available to order online or via phone for home delivery in Brownsville, Bushwick and Bed-Stuy. Products are also sold at weekend markets and local hangouts, including Georges-Andre Vintage Café and Fair Weather Bushwick.
House of Juice is looking to raise $25,000 to purchase a commercial juicer and secure larger kitchen facilities for production. Funds will expand Ivy’s Juice Box and go toward educational programs teaching kids how to blend and make their own drinks.
The husband-and-wife team also hope to make “Feeding 1,000 Kids” a citywide initiative.