EGG HARBOR TOWNSHIP — It is an unfortunate fact that many American families are forced to choose inexpensive, yet unhealthy, grocery items to stretch the household budget. With the help of AtlantiCare and the D’Arcy Johnson Day law firm, more than 1,000 area residents have received fresh produce to prepare healthy and wholesome meals.

At a recent fresh fruit and vegetable market at the William L. Gormley AtlantiCare HealthPlex in Atlantic City, volunteers from D’Arcy Johnson Day helped distribute more than 6,000 pounds of fresh produce. The peaches, spaghetti squash, broccoli slaw, carrots, peppers and more they distributed to 371 community members will affect 978 adults and 106 children.

“AtlantiCare’s vision is building healthy communities together. Community partnerships are key to the success of many of our outreach programs,” said Samantha Kiley, executive director of the AtlantiCare Foundation. “We are grateful for the D'Arcy Johnson Day staff who volunteered their time, and for the commitment of the firm to fostering — and supporting — a spirit of voluntarism among its team.”

AtlantiCare holds fruit and vegetable markets the first, second and fourth Thursdays of the month at the HealthPlex as part of its Pantry at the Plex program. It does so in partnership with the Community FoodBank of New Jersey, Southern Branch, and other community partners and volunteers, including D’Arcy Johnson Day. The pantry, which opened in December 2017, has served 6,497 patients and other community members thus far in 2018.