From sweetgreen to the Food Bank: Fueling Our Communities

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While waiting in line at sweetgreen to buy a salad for dinner last week, after a particularly sweaty yoga session, I had to wonder- why am I standing in line for a salad? And why is everyone else here?
Could it be New Year’s resolutions? Or, as a millennial, am I just standing in line with the masses because salads “to go” are, well – cool?

The reality is that I was there to grab a meal that was nutritious, and fortify my body as I started a long work week. I recognize that food is more than a meal: it’s fuel. And knowing where my fuel comes from is like a little red cherry tomato to top off my bowl.

Fast forward a week to yesterday afternoon, when I found myself walking the aisles of our distribution center with the 60 members of the sweetgreen team who had come to volunteer. As we passed pallets of gigantic turnips, it struck me that the way we think about food at the Capital Area Food Bank isn’t very different from the philosophy that drives this health-forward salad company.

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sweetgreen is focused on providing nutritious food options, and they care a lot about where their food comes from, from the lettuce lining the bottom of a bowl to the raw beet diced into bite sized pieces balancing on top. They’re also making nutrition education accessible in our communities.

As an organization providing food for 12% of the local population, we’re focused on these same issues. We know we have a big role in the local food system and work hard to source food that we’re proud of and that contributes to the wellness of those we serve, whether we are loading our trucks with local apples from Toigo Farms grown by Mark Toigo, or fresh broccoli and cauliflower grown by Clayton Farms in MD.

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As health and wellness become increasingly important to our work, we’re grateful to have the growing partnership of organizations like sweetgreen that are focused, as we are, on nourishing children, seniors, families, and yes- millennials- that are in need of healthy food to help them grow, learn, work, and play.

 

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