Food Banks in the US are stocking more nutritious foods for their clientele.
These organizations across America help the homeless and those with low incomes to eat affordably or for free. Food banks, in association with local farmers, are offering more fresh produce these days. And doctors are collaborating with food banks, prescribing fruits and vegetables to improve overall health.
Feeding America is a nonprofit organization who took a survey of 200 food banks. They discovered that one-third of households participating in food banks have at least one member who is diabetic. More than 50 percent have a member with high blood pressure.
When questioned, 55 percent of the families responded that they would love to have fruits and veggies, but felt they couldn’t afford them. They may get their wish soon. Over 30 food banks in the Midwest refuse to accept “sweets” into their supplies. They are trying to carry healthier foods like lean proteins and produce as opposed to grains and empty-calorie foods.
Chicago-area clinics, for example, have hosted events where truckloads of fresh foods are brought in. The Chicago Food Depository provided over 100,000 pounds of fruit and vegetables over the past year. This helped feed over 3,000 families.
Doctors in Idaho with low-income patients are beginning to add pantries in their clinic. They can “prescribe” fresh foods on the spot. In Delaware, a family can get up to 25 pounds a month from the local food bank with their doctor’s prescription.
Food banks get their food from sources that they’d otherwise throw in the trash. (It’s perfectly fresh, but it may not look the “right” color or shape for commercial sale.) Additionally, money received from donations help purchase food for the facility. Nutritious foods can cost more, but researchers are examining the benefits of preventative spending. A family who eats better (so it’s hoped) will have fewer medical bills and less work-loss due to illness.
Currently, a clinical study is underway measuring if proper nutrition offered at food banks can help those with diabetes. In five years, the amount of fresh produce that’s become available in food banks has doubled. From July 2015 through June 2016, over one-billion pounds were distributed throughout the US.
It looks as if we’re heading in the right direction—food-wise and health-wise.
For more info on nutrition, best health practices, and current medical studies, check out www.GetThrive.com