March 13, 2009

Capital Area Food Bank Spotlights our Nutrition Initiative

**This article first appeared in Plowshares, a newsletter published by the Capital Area Food Bank**

Bread for the City offers clients fresh produce through From the Ground Up at Clagett Farm Community Supported Agriculture project.

Holistic Health Means Serving the Best

Bread for the City understands the connection between nutritious food and healthy living, which is why their holistic approach addresses clients’ spiritual, social physical health.

The medical center at Bread for the City sees many clients suffering from diet related health issues such as hypertension – a condition that can be prevented with diets rich in whole grains, fruits and vegetables. In an effort to focus on clients’ health issues, BFC stocks its food pantry with fresh produce purchased through the From the Ground Up at Clagett Farm Community Supported Agriculture project. FGU at Clagett Farm is a partnership between the Capital Area Food Bank and the Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s Clagett Farm to distribute up to half of what is produced at Clagett to those in need.

When Clagett was able to offer them free delivery, Ted Pringle, director of food and clothing, said, “You can’t argue with that!”

This season, BFC purchased 15 full shares of produce for half the price. At first it seemed like a risky investment – the beginning of the season offers mainly salad greens – but by fall, the root vegetables were rolling in. “The clients and staff learned a lot,” said Pringle. “I saw blue potatoes, arugula and lots of fresh garlic.”

As the largest food pantry in the District, BFC serves an average of 5,000 families per month, and a significant portion of their budget goes towards food purchase. Since BFC believes in concentrating on all of clients needs, they are particular about nutrition. “Even in a recession, we care about what we serve,” explained Pringle.

-- Anika Roth
Harvest for the Health Intern, Capital Area Food Bank

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