JUICE AND GENEROSITY
Reno students provide nourishment to seniors and families in need.
WRITTEN BY CLAIRE CUDAHY
PHOTOS BY CANDICE VIVIEN
Sage Ridge student Noel Kim makes fresh juice together for seniors and people in need of fresh nutrients
When 17-year-old Noel Kim visited a nursing home in Reno to pass out dental kits with her mother, she wondered something: How do the seniors, many without teeth, eat nutritious fruits and vegetables?
The Sage Ridge School senior got to thinking about how she had grown up drinking freshly pressed fruit and vegetable juices made by her grandmother and mother, and soon after, A Little Juice Project was born.
Joining up to juice
For nearly two years Kim — and now a 15-member club at her school — have been juicing and delivering 8-ounce bottles of vitamin-rich juice to nursing homes in Reno.
“The seniors are really happy and grateful we are thinking of them,” Kim says. “There was one woman who was 100 years old, and she said, ‘Thank you for giving me a reason to get out of bed today.’”
The members of A Little Juice Club meet every Friday at Kim’s house and juice for two hours, producing about 50 bottles, which they label with custom stickers before delivery. They use produce donated by Trader Joe’s in Reno.
“When they approached us with the idea, we knew it was a great fit,” says Trader Joe’s manager Mykey Kocina. “Any time we have the opportunity to help out the local community, we do.”
Each week Kim and her club members collect six to eight grocery bags’ worth of produce that was pulled from shelves due to minor imperfections. The end result makes a big difference in the lives of those seniors receiving the juice.
“First of all, they love the juice,” says Cynthia Wong, owner of Love & Joy Residence, an assisted living facility in Reno. “They are more alert and have more energy after drinking it.”
The visits from the high school students are another bright spot for the seniors.
The club also delivers to the Eddy House and Ronald McDonald House in Reno.
“The families who stay with us live outside of Reno and have children being treated at area hospitals,” says Rachel Gattuso, marketing manager for the Ronald McDonald House. “So when they have that tiny, transportable bottle of juice that’s fresh and healthy to take with them to appointments, it makes all the difference.”
Though Kim is graduating in 2018, she takes comfort in knowing her club will live on.
“I know there are people in the club who are really enthusiastic about this project and want to keep it going even after I leave,” she says.
For details about how to make a donation to A Little Juice Project, which pays out of pocket for bottles and labels, visit Alittlejuiceproject.org.
(courtesy of Noel Kim, founder, A Little Juice Project in Reno. Makes 3, 8-ounce servings)
1 cup kale
1 cup spinach
Juice from half a lemon
1-inch piece ginger, peeled
Add ingredients to juicer. Stir to combine flavors and serve cold.