Stigma Free May

Stigma Free May with the City of Asbury Park Mayor’s Wellness Committee

You Feel What You Eat: Exploring the Connection Between Behavioral Health and Nutrition

Welcome to Stigma Free May! Interfaith Neighbors, in partnership with the Asbury Park Mayor’s Wellness Committee, is facilitating this effort to raise awareness and overcome the stigma often associated with behavioral health challenges. This coincides with Mental Health Awareness Month. This weeklong series of daily events— You feel what you eat, exploring the connection between behavioral health and nutrition aims to improve our community’s mental health by sharing resources on accessing a consistent supply of free or affordable, culturally appropriate, nutritious food and knowledge on how to prepare it.


Included in the week’s events is the Asbury Park Plant-Powered Challenge, where anyone can join in to learn about the power of fresh food for your mind, body, and spirit in the days leading up to the event. 

Click Here to sign up.


Day 1: Saturday May 13, 3-5 PM, Kula Farm 115 Atkins Ave. Opening Ceremony. Come and share your food story, tour the farm and greenhouse, learn how to assemble a plant-powered plate, exchange recipes for the week ahead and make delicious oil-free salad dressing. Hosted by the Asbury Park Plant-Powered People’s Collective.

Day 2: Sunday, May 14, 11 AM-Noon, Asbury Fresh Farmers’ Market, Library Square Park. Join us for a special Mother’s Day cooking demo at Asbury Fresh Farmers Market with Soul + Spice Plant-Based Kitchen! Our local community chef, Krista Salomon, will showcase delicious and easy-to-make recipes using organic, seasonal ingredients with a Caribbean-Fusion twist. You’ll learn how to create nourishing, flavorful dishes that will leave your taste buds and your body deeply satisfied. Don’t miss this opportunity to celebrate the Moms in your life while learning new kitchen skills and enjoying some delicious food.

Day 3: Monday, May 15, 6-8 PM, Asbury Park Library, 500 1st Ave. Food and Mood Panel. Come explore the effects of a healthy diet on your ability to focus, learn, and thrive with your community members. Take out cookbooks to help you on your journey. Featuring Crystal Monsanto, Boys and Girls Club, Rodney Salomon, KYDs, and Marianne McCormick, Jersey Shore Medical Center. 

Day 4: Tuesday, May 16, 4-6 PM, Boys and Girls Club of Asbury Park, 1201 Monroe Ave. Cooking demo with Chef Afi, Culinary Coach/Vegan Chef with DIY Kitchen Diaries Cooking Classes of Newark. Includes food-related activities for the entire family. For Boys & Girls Club students and their families exclusively.

Day 5: Wednesday, May 17th, 6-7:30 PM, Virtual Zoom Panel Discussion: Food is Medicine. Learn what our country’s experts say about the connection between behavioral health and nutrition. With special guests Dr. Joe D’Ambrosio from University of Louisville School of Medicine, Jacqueline Salomon, President, Founder, Visionary of the Seeds to Inspire Foundation in Phoenix, AZ and others. Zoom registration link here.

Day 6: Thursday, May 18th, Come explore Asbury Park restaurants that feature plant-powered food, including Mogo, Cookman Creamery, Macrobites, and more. Map and recommended dishes with pricing can be accessed here.

Day 7: Friday, May 19th, 5:30-6:30 PM, Interfaith Neighbors’ Farm without Borders, 1200 Springwood Ave. Walking meditation in nature with Rodney Salomon from KYDs. Visit the farm and learn about what is growing this summer, pick free to take home, as well as an introduction to the Asbury Park Community Food Connection’s Farm to Food Pantry Initiative.

Day 8: Saturday, May 20th, 5 PM, Encounter Christ Global Fellowship, New Bethel Church Chapel, 101 W. Sylvania Ave., Neptune City, 07753. Closing ceremony: Faith, Food and Spirit, featuring Pastors Semaj Vanzant and Kerwin Webb, joined by Stigma Free May organizer Karyn Moskowitz, Rabbi Ari Blech and Alaethia Doctor Blech. Bring your week’s thoughts and reflections on the plant-powered challenge.


Volunteer Opportunities

Volunteer slots include set up and breakdown, photography and videography at multiple locations from May 13-May 20th.

Click Here to sign up.


The Interfaith Neighbors Network