Healthy Body Workshop

Our staff and volunteers take sustainability very seriously, especially when it comes to our facility operations — including waste management, energy efficiency and resource recycling. In addition to these efforts, our Sustainability Committee works to increase awareness about other sustainability-related topics that affect our lives and our work.

Today, we were happy to welcome Sarah Shea from the Pennsylvania Resources Council to hold a Healthy Body Workshop for our staff during lunch.

The workshop was full of interesting (and shocking) information about the potential ill-effects of personal care products that contain harmful chemicals, such as Phthalates (Fragrance), Parabens, Toluene, Formaldehyde, Triclosan, Diethanolamine, Triethanolamine, Mercury, Lead and other heavy metals. These toxins can be found in products we use every day — from makeup and lotion, deodorant and body wash to laundry detergent and bathroom cleaner.

At the Food Bank, we work with young families and pregnant women, whom are more susceptible to effects from toxic chemicals. We think it’s important to learn as much as we can to help our community live healthy and respect our natural resources.

Despite this worrying information, Sarah showed us how to look out for these toxins and suggested places to find non-toxic alternatives — or how to make your own!


Below is a recipe for homemade deodorant, which was a really fun activity during the Healthy Body Workshop. This recipe is cheap, environmentally-friendly and effective!



  • 1/4 cup Cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup Baking Soda
  • 2 tbsp Coconut Oil
  • 1 capsule full of Vitamin E
  • [Optional] 2 drops of Essential Oil (Tea Tree, Vanilla, Almond, etc.)


  • Combine Cornstarch and Baking Soda
  • Add Essential Oil
  • Add Coconut Oil and Vitamin E
  • Mix well in large bowl with hands to create a paste with silky consistency (add more coconut oil if mix is too dry)
  • Keep in closed container


Thank you, Sarah, for a great workshop!

For more information visit these links:

PA Resources Council and Healthy Body Workshop

Safe Cosmetics Database


Zachary Hirschfeld is Chair of the Food Bank’s Sustainability Committee. To reach him, please send an email to