The Capital Area Food Bank, like all food banks across the country, has its foundation in conservation. Food banks ensure that good food does not go to waste. A dented can, a low-gloss apple, and a misshapen carrot can all still realize their destiny of filling stomachs instead of garbage trucks. Food banks were one of the first national grassroots efforts to cut down on the waste stream that clogs our landfills and contaminates our groundwater.
The Capital Area Food Bank continues to work towards a sustainable future that acknowledges the importance of environmental and social sustainability. Last year, approximately 16% (or 1,760,000 pounds) of food distributed from the CAFB came from local farms.
The CAFB recognizes the importance of partnering with local farms that value environmental stewardship. Sustainable farming practices have a tremendous impact on the environment around us. Simple but important measures taken by farmers include moving crops from one field to another each season; growing a wide variety of produce that encourages ecological diversity; mulching fields to reduce water erosion and evaporation; and choosing crops that grow well in the local environment without the excessive use of pesticides, herbicides, and irrigation.
Sourcing food from local producers is not just the right choice ecologically; it is the right choice for the people eating the food. Participants in the CAFB’s Nutrition Education programs, for instance, are much more likely to enjoy incorporating fresh vegetables into their diets when those vegetables taste good. Sweet corn salsa, spicy cilantro chutney, Moroccan carrot salad – – these are some of the dishes featured in these classes. The freshness and quality of locally sourced ingredients allows nutrition to sell itself.
Sustainability is vitally important for the health of our community and those who live in it. The CAFB highlights the connection between the environment and social justice through programs that source locally grown nutritious and delicious foods.
Give to the Max Supports Sustainability
For Give to the Max Day, know that your donation supports the Capital Area Food Bank’s Fresh Produce Campaign. Every contribution enables us to continue distributing 15 million pounds of nutritious fruits and vegetables at no cost to our more than 700 partner agencies in the Washington metro area.