June 11, 2008

Addressing Donation Challenges

by Joni Podschun, Advocacy Associate at So Others Might Eat.

This post is part of a series on nutritious food donations. Also in the series: Between a Rock and a Hard Place, and On Food & Nutrition.

We see a version of this problem in our dining room at SOME. Because we provide a low-barrier eating environment, we have a diverse group of participants with varying nutritional needs. A handful may eat three meals a day but many may get just one, needing many calories and nutrients in that one meal. On top of that, there are long-term health problems with dietary restrictions, food allergies, and many different cultural backgrounds.

SOME staff and volunteers still need to be able to fix a meal and hand a plate to whoever walks through the door. And, while we attempt to provide nutritious food, we're dependent on donations. If we didn’t have a streamlined process and donations, we wouldn’t be able to serve 800 meals a day.

The route we've taken is to provide nutrition education to our staff and clients; and request specific foods from donors. I look forward to hearing other ideas of how non-profits can address this challenge.

Joni Podschun is the Advocacy Associate at SOME (So Others Might Eat), and works on issues related to seniors, families, and access to healthy food. You can reach her at 202-797-8806 x. 2112 or jpodschun@some.org. For more information on SOME’s advocacy on food issues, please visit their website.

No comments: