Food Bank Promotes Healthier Donations
COLUMBIA - The Central and Northeast Missouri Food Bank usually sees an increase of donations a few weeks before Thanksgiving. But this year, they are trying to promote healthier options for donors.
Peggy Kirkpatrick is the Executive director of the food bank and she has been working to educate donors. "We're constantly trying to educate folks as to appropriate food drive food to donate," said KirKpatrick.
Registered dietitian Ellen Schuster says it's not just important to eat food, but healthy food. "We don't want to focus on calories, because then people don't really think about whether what they are choosing really has good source of nutrients or things that will nutritious the body and in the long term prevent disease," said Schuster.
Schuster explained, "Choosing low fats, choosing low sodium, choosing whole grains these are the kinds of food that have a long term positive affects on diet."
Kirkpatrick stressed that although supplying nutritious food is important, the first step is food in general. "I do focus on calories at first. It's important for those in need to have calories in their diet," said Kirkpatrick. "Once everyone has calories, then we work to make sure they are the right calories."
But having the correct food to donate is only half the problem. Kirkpatrick said if there were white, wheat, and whole grain bread in a pantry, the white bread would be taken first. "We need to educate on both ends: people donating and people using the donations."
Either way, Kennedy knows donating to the food bank is needed. "There is never too much. We can always use more volunteers more food more money. It's the season for giving and I can't think of any better place to give than this," said Kennedy.