How the Ballston Nourish Designs spa gift shop is helping feed children in the Capital Region

About 10 years ago, Betsy Seplowitz started doodling nature-inspired mandala designs as a way to reduce stress. About six years ago, she began volunteering for the Northeast New York Regional Food Bank’s BackPack program, which provides meals to nearly 7,000 food-insecure school children in 22 counties. . But it wasn’t until more recently that the Ballston Spa native realized she could combine her two passions to help even more local children.

“One in six children in our region doesn’t have consistent, reliable access to healthy food,” Seplowitz says. “A little over two years ago, an idea came to mind: could I do something with my drawings that would raise awareness of food insecurity and help provide meals for children? It was the beginning of Nourish.

Each mandala on Nourish merchandise is hand drawn by Seplowitz without stencils.

Seplowitz, who has a 15-year-old son and 10-year-old daughter of herself, launched Nourish Designs, a merchandise brand showcasing her quirky mandala designs, online and via in-person events in 2019. Despite the pandemic, Business exploded, as the spotlight shone on the number of children who rely on free school breakfast and lunch programs as their only source of nutritious meals. In November 2021, Seplowitz opened a storefront in downtown Ballston Spa, where each of its merchandise – from hoodies to stationery – is marked with both a price and the number of meals the purchase of the article will provide. The purchase of a T-shirt, for example, provides 12 meals for children in need.

“Since we started in November 2019, Nourish has been able to fund over 82,000 meals,” says Seplowitz. “One meal at a time, together with our customers, we make the difference.”

Natalie Moore

Natalie Moore is the Content Director of Living in Saratoga and Living in the Capital Region.

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