We Are Ready to Act

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Over the course of the last few years, Americans have become acutely aware of the rising incidence of obesity and diet-related illness. Daily news reports and startling info-graphics shock us into being more mindful of what we are eating and of the influences present in our everyday food environment.

Less is known about the correlation between obesity, diet-related illness and poverty. Poverty and hunger are some of the most likely predictors of obesity. Those most in need often face the greatest obstacles to healthy food access and are the target consumers for processed foods high in sugar, sodium and fat.

For food banks across the country, it is no longer a question of whether to act, but how to act. At the Capital Area Food Bank, the dual challenge of hunger and diet-related illness is being met with innovative, community-based solutions to build partner agency capacity. These solutions will be on display at the 33rd annual Metropolitan Area Hunger Conference on April 26th.

At the Hunger Conference, partners will learn how to stretch their food budgets through the food bank’s new Meal Maker tool. Meal Maker teaches partner agencies how to transform food bank ingredients into nourishing meals in three simple steps:

  • A weekly food bank shopping list suggests healthy, affordable items available in inventory;
  • Food bank recipes feature items from the weekly shopping list; and
  • Recipe preparation is demonstrated in the agency lounge.

    Capacity building courses and food access programs give partners the opportunity to build their capacity to fight diet-related illness. The Hunger Conference will expose partners to food bank programs that teach partners how to:

  • Grow their own healthy ingredients at the Grow Your Own food growing workshop;
  • Prepare healthy, affordable, delicious meals at Recipe Testing classes;
  • Share the knowledge clients need to make healthy decisions in the Health Ambassador Certification Program; and
  • Access more fresh produce through the Fresh Produce Grant.

    People who have changed the way they eat know that the old adage is true – small changes lead can lead to big results. The food bank looks forward to facing the challenge of hunger and diet-related illness head-on. We are ready to act and the community is ready for change.

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