Feeding America Food Banks Seek Donations Of Nutritious Food

Need for Food Assistance Increases When Schools Close for Spring Break

Mar 19, 2014, 11:27 ET from Feeding America

CHICAGO, March 19, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Feeding America, the nation's leading domestic hunger-relief organization, is anticipating a spike in need as schools across the country close for spring break. The network of more than 200 food banks is encouraging donations of food items that are healthful, high in protein and nutrient rich.

"About 37 million Americans rely on food pantries and kitchens served by Feeding America to help feed themselves and their families each year. In the next few weeks, many of our food banks are anticipating that the people they serve will need significant additional help providing for their families when public schools close and millions of children lose access to free and reduced-priced school meals," said Bob Aiken, CEO of Feeding America.

"Feeding America has made significant progress in recent years in increasing the quantity and quality of the food we distribute. We are grateful for any help our supporters can provide – whether that is donating food or funds, advocating on behalf of people at risk of hunger, or volunteering," Aiken said.

For those who are interested in donating food, or perhaps organizing a food drive, here are the top foods needed by our food banks this year:

  • Dairy
    • Unflavored/unsweetened shelf-stable milk
    • Dehydrated milk and canned evaporated milk are also appreciated.

  • Proteins These are among the most costly foods – placing a significant financial burden on food banks when they must be purchased in large quantities.
    • Low-sodium canned meats such as tuna, chicken or fish are high in protein and low in saturated fat.
    • Peanut butter is rich in protein and high in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated oils, the "good fats."
    • Dried beans, peas and lentils are a staple of diets as early as 6700 B.C. Beans are a low-fat source of protein and fiber.

  • Fruits and Vegetables
    • Low-sodium canned vegetables, including tomatoes and tomato sauce. Studies indicate that canned vegetables have about the same nutritional value as fresh vegetables.
    • Canned fruits in 100% juice or lite syrup. Only a small amount of vitamin C is lost in the canning process, making these a healthy choice.
    • 100% fruit and vegetable juices. Canned, plastic or boxed are all helpful.
    • Dried fruits and vegetables.

  • 100% Whole Grains.
    • Whole wheat pasta, barley, brown rice or wild rice. Grain-based foods are a good source of fiber and complex carbohydrates.
    • Cereal and rolled oats with at least 3g of fiber. Breakfast cereals can be an additional source of protein, and most cereals today include a variety of vitamins and minerals.

To find the Feeding America food bank in your area, go to: www.feedingamerica.org  

About Feeding America
Feeding America is a nationwide network of more than 200 food banks that leads the fight against hunger in the United States. Together, we provide food to more than 37 million people through 61,000 food pantries, soup kitchens, and shelters in communities across America. Feeding America also supports programs that improve food security among the people we serve; educates the public about the problem of hunger; and advocates for legislation that protects people from going hungry. Individuals, charities, businesses and government all have a role in ending hunger. Donate. Volunteer. Advocate. Educate.  Together we can solve hunger. Visit http://www.feedingamerica.org/. Find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/FeedingAmerica or follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/FeedingAmerica.

Ross Fraser

SOURCE Feeding America