by Callie Brust, Nutrition & Wellness Educator (MPH, RDH, CHES)
I look forward to this month all year – Happy National Nutrition Month® everyone! This informational campaign is a national effort which was first started by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and it aims to encourage people of all ages and stages of life to make informed food choices.
Here at home, the Jacobs & Cushman San Diego Food Bank is proud to team up with United Healthcare throughout the month of March to promote eating healthy, shopping healthy and getting active! For more information about this partnership and the exciting things we have lined up, please visit SanDiegoFoodBank.org/NutritionMonth.
Additionally, our team at the Food Bank strives daily to serve our clients healthy, nutritious foods, teach them how to make yummy, easy recipes, and do all we can to help anyone in need of food. This year’s theme for National Nutrition Month® is “Go Further with Food.” Here are a few ways the Food Bank is going further with food!
1. Free Produce – The Food Bank distributes nearly 9 million pounds of free, fresh produce annually to our clients. We realize that fresh produce can be out of reach for some families so we want to reduce the barriers of eating healthy. Just this week, the Food Bank distributed fresh apples, tomatoes, cucumbers, even Brussels sprouts!
2. Nutrition and Cooking Classes – We know nutrition messaging can be confusing and you may not know what to do with that bag of Brussels sprouts you just received. Through our nutrition and cooking class series, we teach our clients how to eat healthy on a budget, how to read nutrition facts labels, how to create healthy meals for their families, and more. Education is empowerment!
3. Nutrition Policies – To help make the healthiest choice the easiest, we’ve implemented a few nutrition policies to increase the nutrient density of our food inventory. We do not distribute sugar-laden sodas, candies, and energy drinks. We also utilize a nutrient analysis system to guide our food purchases meaning we’re not buying foods high in sugar, salt, or fat for our food programs!
Over the next few weeks, we’ll dive into other ways the Food Bank is Going Further with Food. Stay tuned!