By Beverly Jackey RD, Community Nutritionist
The Food Bank of Delaware is committed to meeting the nutritional needs of the food insecure in Delaware by establishing nutrition standards for donated food. Clients utilizing the services of food banks across the country are often unable to access or afford the variety and quantity of foods necessary for a healthful diet. The Food Bank of Delaware and its Hunger-Relief Partners can play a significant role in increasing access to these nutritious foods; however, we need the support of donors to accomplish this. Starting this week we will no longer accept soda and candy items as donations as listed below:
- All sodas in bottles or cans
- Hardy candy and lollipops
- Chocolate bars or pieces (not including meal replacement, diet supplement or sport bars)
- Soft candy- marshmallows, caramels, taffy, licorice, gummy items
Why the change? The results of our recent Foods in Demand survey sent to our Hunger-Relief Partners ranked soda and candy as the “lowest in need” of sixteen items on the survey. Secondly, more than two thirds of adults and one third of children in Delaware are overweight or obese. There is strong evidence that those affected by food insecurity are the highest at risk for obesity and other diet-related illnesses. Consumption of foods and beverages with significant added sugars and fats may play a role in this epidemic. These foods are often consumed because they cost less than fruits, vegetables and whole grains that contain high quality nutrients such as vitamins, minerals and fiber. Lastly, the Food Bank recognizes that all food and beverages have a place in a well-balanced diet, however, there is no indication our clients lack access to soda and candy. These items are readily available in the large grocery stores and the numerous corner markets in all neighborhoods.
As we celebrate National Nutrition Month across the country, please support our efforts in joining the growing trend of other food banks that are committed to providing access to healthy food options to all Americans regardless of income.
When planning you next food drive, please visit our website at www.fbd.org for a list of foods we encourage for donations.
For questions, contact Beverly Jackey RD Community Nutritionist at (302) 444-8125 or firstname.lastname@example.org.