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Donating Food, Donating Health

Help combat food insecurity in your community by donating healthy, nutritious foods.

We all remember the major headlines of 2020. But, in response to some of the heartache and loss, Americans responded by reaching out and caring for their neighbors. On GivingTuesday 2020 — which is observed on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving each year — donations increased 25 percent from 2019. And, in 2020, food banks distributed nearly 6 billion meals to those facing hunger in the U.S., compared to 4.2 billion meals in 2019.
There will always be people in need. If you’re looking for ways to help those in your community who are struggling with food insecurity, read on to find out what donation centers need most.
According to Feeding America, “Feeding America’s 2014 Hunger in America study found that 79% percent of clients purchase inexpensive and unhealthy foods just to make ends meet. However, clients reported that they want to have a healthier diet; 55 percent of client households reported fresh fruit and vegetables as one of their most desired items when visiting a food pantry, 47 percent cited protein food items (including meat), and 40 percent cited dairy products.”
When your friends and neighbors who are food insecure have access to healthful foods, it not only helps them, but the community as a whole. The positive health outcomes that come from nutritious foods are well known: increased longevity and more consistent health outcomes across various populations. But, did you know nutrition can impact mental health as well? That’s why it’s vital for all members of your community to have access to healthy, nutritious foods.
Here are some options to consider when donating:
  • Low-sodium or water-packed canned vegetables
  • Canned fruit in 100 percent juice or light syrup
  • Dried fruits and vegetables with no added sugar
  • Low-sodium or water-packed canned meats and seafood
  • Dried beans, peas and lentils
  • Low-sodium canned beans and peas
  • Shelf-stable milk or non-dairy alternatives, such as soy or almond milk
  • Whole-wheat pasta, cereals or rolled oats
  • Barley, brown rice and wild rice
  • Low-sodium nuts and nut butters with limited additives

With simple items like this, folks can put together whole meals from these pantry staples.

Information provided by Healthy HometownSM Powered by Wellmark.

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