By Sarah Woods, BS, NDTR, WIC Education Specialist
The slogan of March 2017 National Nutrition Month is “Put Your Best Fork Forward.” This phrase serves as a reminder that every bite counts, and even small changes in our diets can have a big impact over time. But for the 117,000+ Delawareans dealing with food insecurity,1 making healthy choices can be easier said than done.
Seventy-nine percent of households served by food banks across the country responded to a Feeding America survey in 2014 stating that they resort to purchasing inexpensive and unhealthy foods to feed their family, in an effort to cope with food insecurity. Many of the people in these households also deal with chronic illnesses like high blood pressure or diabetes, which can be exacerbated by poor nutrition. Some are forced to choose between paying for food and paying for medical care.2
That’s why the Food Bank of Delaware strives to help families get out of the cycle of food insecurity and chronic disease by giving them the tools they need to put their best fork forward. Last year, Food Bank of Delaware Hunger Relief Partners distributed 2.2 million pounds of produce to Delawareans,3 but efforts extend well beyond fresh fruits and veggies.
Nutrition education programs for people of all ages, financial coaching, SNAP and WIC outreach, a mobile pantry, workforce development, and new produce programs, all contribute to the different ways we address hunger relief and nutrition for the most vulnerable.
What can you do to help out your community for National Nutrition Month?
- Donate healthy foods such as
-Low-sodium canned goods
-Fruits packaged in their own juice instead of syrup
-Whole-grain pastas, breads, and cereals
-Dry beans and peas
-Low-fat meats such as poultry or lean ground beef
-Low-fat milk and yogurt
- Watch & Share this video from Feeding America about the intersections of hunger and health
- Visit ChooseMyPlate.gov to learn about how you & your family can make healthier choices, one fork at a time
- Volunteer with the Food Bank of Delaware or your local food pantry