October 27, 2010

Holiday Helpings: Help us be healthy

Most of the food in Bread for the City's pantry is purchased directly by us from the Capital Area Food Bank – putting your donated dollars to great bulk-scale use. (And it's not too early to give to our Holiday Helpings campaign, which starts next week!)

We also receive private donations of food, through organized food drives and individuals' pantry-purging -- especially during the holiday season.

We truly value the generosity of our donors. Yet because we also highly value the health of our clients, we hope to channel the energy and commitment of our donors to ensure that clients receive foods that best support their health.

This year we want to remind our community that not all foodstuffs are nourishing – and there are some that we simply cannot accept.

Research shows that there is a much higher incidence of diabetes and heart disease among populations that include our clients . These diseases are largely preventable through lifestyle changes like diet and exercise. By contributing foods that do not contribute to these diseases, donors can help Bread for the City be a part of the solution to this community health crisis.

With this in mind, we respectfully share our updated nutrition guidelines for donations.

Please keep in mind that we cannot accept the following:
• canned or boxed soups that are not labeled low-fat, low-sodium
• ramen noodles
• pastry items, candy, other sweet snacks (cookies, Jell-o)
• drinks that are highly sweetened or artificially sweetened (sweetened fruit juice, soda, sports drinks, sweet tea)
• cake and brownie mixes
• boxed macaroni and cheese

Instead we encourage:

• canned vegetables and beans that are labeled low-sodium or no salt added
• olive oil
• dry beans
• fruit canned in natural juices
• canned salmon, tuna, sardines, or chicken, especially unsalted and packed in water
• 100% pure juice
• whole grain flour and cereal that is whole grain, not highly sweetened (plain oatmeal, original Cheerios)

And we discourage but will accept:
• canned vegetables and beans that are not labeled low-sodium or unsalted
• fruit canned in light or heavy syrup
• sweetened cereal (Raisin Bran, Honey Nut Cheerios)

Thank you for joining us in this broad effort to improve the health of our community! To sign up to run a Holiday Helpings drive in your workplace or community, please contact Nathan LaBorie at nlaborie@breadforthecity.org or 202.386.7611.

No comments: