The food pantry is growing in healthier food options

9 months 4 days 14 hours ago Wednesday, March 07 2018 Mar 7, 2018 Wednesday, March 07, 2018 6:41:00 PM CST March 07, 2018 in News
By: Sana Moore, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

COLUMBIA - The Food Bank for Central and Northeast Missouri is doing more to encourage people to eat their vegetables.

Executive director Lindsay Lopez said the food bank’s goal is to improve the lives of the people it serves with the introduction to new food items. She said, in 2017, 61 percent of donated food consisted of healthier food options.

”Produce is expensive, so the fact that we are able to acquire and distribute that to the people that we serve is really incredible,” she said.

Central Food Pantry manager Sean Ross said he’s not only seen an increase in the amount of food, but also in the amount of people who want it.

“We have been making it a conscious effort to increase the amount of produce we give out and so now we distribute about a million pounds of fruit and vegetables a year,” Ross said.

Food banks started more than 50 years ago focusing on non-perishable items like boxed and canned goods. Lopez said it was just three years ago the food bank decided to go a different route and use produced items like dairy, whole grain, fruits and vegetables.

“We really want to ultimately improve the quality of the food that we are distributing, so that we can improve the quality of the lives of the people we serve.” she said.

Ross said, to increase the amount of fresh produce people can receive, the pantry allows for people to come in more than just once a month for the fruit and vegetables.

“It’s important because the healthier food leads to healthier people, and healthier people are just more happy, their more productive, they’re more fun to be around.” the Central Food Pantry manager, he said.

Ross said squash is one of the most popular items at the pantry.

“We used to get a lot of different squashes in the fall and people just didn’t know what they were so we made up a poster that basically had a picture of each one and told what it was. It even had some suggestions on how to cook each one and so now when we get squash it hardly lasts at all.” he said.

Ross said its rewarding seeing people try foods they normally wouldn’t eat.

“It feels really good. It feels good, especially because I’ve seen an increase myself in things people were less familiar with, and over time, as we offer it more and more, they become familiar with it,” Ross said.

Lopez said the food bank also helps reduce food costs for people it serves. 

“If we are able to provide these fresh quality options to them in terms of their food then it frees them up to spend their resources on other things that they need,” Lopez said.

Lopez said, going forward, the food bank wants to continue to educate the public about the importance of healthier food options at pantries. She said money is one way to help out.

“For every one dollar we take in we can turn around and purchase 21 dollars worth of groceries. So we can take those dollars and turn them directly into highly nutritious foods,” she said.

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA - Firefighters responded to a residential structure fire overnight. The blaze started around 11:49 p.m. Monday. The fire... More >>
4 hours ago Tuesday, December 11 2018 Dec 11, 2018 Tuesday, December 11, 2018 3:16:47 AM CST December 11, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Some students are starting to voice their opinions about possible redistricting of a new middle school. CPS... More >>
10 hours ago Monday, December 10 2018 Dec 10, 2018 Monday, December 10, 2018 8:30:00 PM CST December 10, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - More than 100 people gathered in Jefferson City Monday to learn more about the planned health care... More >>
11 hours ago Monday, December 10 2018 Dec 10, 2018 Monday, December 10, 2018 8:08:00 PM CST December 10, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Nobel Prize winner George P. Smith, a retired professor, says he lives a rather humble life beyond the... More >>
12 hours ago Monday, December 10 2018 Dec 10, 2018 Monday, December 10, 2018 7:13:00 PM CST December 10, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri's Republican Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft on Monday asked the Democratic auditor... More >>
15 hours ago Monday, December 10 2018 Dec 10, 2018 Monday, December 10, 2018 4:22:00 PM CST December 10, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The University of Missouri's Dr. George Smith was awarded the 2018 Nobel Prize in Chemistry Monday afternoon in... More >>
15 hours ago Monday, December 10 2018 Dec 10, 2018 Monday, December 10, 2018 3:50:00 PM CST December 10, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - A Boone County circuit judge sentenced Miles Leighton Hillegas to seven years in prison Monday for an April... More >>
16 hours ago Monday, December 10 2018 Dec 10, 2018 Monday, December 10, 2018 3:15:00 PM CST December 10, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Christian Fellowship School is mourning the loss of student Bryce Hill, who was killed in a crash Saturday... More >>
16 hours ago Monday, December 10 2018 Dec 10, 2018 Monday, December 10, 2018 3:14:00 PM CST December 10, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - MU assistant professor Pamela Brown said Dr. George P. Smith deserves the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for more... More >>
16 hours ago Monday, December 10 2018 Dec 10, 2018 Monday, December 10, 2018 3:06:00 PM CST December 10, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY- Charges have been filed in the fatal shooting of 19-year old Nilez Nichols in Jefferson City. Prosecutors... More >>
17 hours ago Monday, December 10 2018 Dec 10, 2018 Monday, December 10, 2018 2:20:00 PM CST December 10, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The holiday period is a busy time for scams targeting shoppers, according to Michelle Gleba, Regional Director for... More >>
18 hours ago Monday, December 10 2018 Dec 10, 2018 Monday, December 10, 2018 1:04:00 PM CST December 10, 2018 in News
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A massive tuba ensemble has smashed a Guinness World Record in Kansas City and spread... More >>
19 hours ago Monday, December 10 2018 Dec 10, 2018 Monday, December 10, 2018 12:07:00 PM CST December 10, 2018 in News
STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN- University of Missouri Professor Emeritus George Smith officially accepted his portion of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry Monday.... More >>
20 hours ago Monday, December 10 2018 Dec 10, 2018 Monday, December 10, 2018 11:18:00 AM CST December 10, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA — Police arrested Missouri defensive end Tre Williams early Sunday following a reported domestic incident. According to the... More >>
20 hours ago Monday, December 10 2018 Dec 10, 2018 Monday, December 10, 2018 10:39:00 AM CST December 10, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Those struggling to afford holiday gifts for their loved ones may still have options. Registration ends today for... More >>
1 day ago Monday, December 10 2018 Dec 10, 2018 Monday, December 10, 2018 3:27:53 AM CST December 10, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia firefighters responded to a fire at Columbia Crossing Apartments on Towne Drive late Sunday night. Division... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, December 09 2018 Dec 9, 2018 Sunday, December 09, 2018 11:30:00 PM CST December 09, 2018 in News
(CNN) -- Treacherous driving conditions and canceled flights could keep residents stuck at home for days as a nasty mix... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, December 09 2018 Dec 9, 2018 Sunday, December 09, 2018 6:25:00 PM CST December 09, 2018 in News
OSAGE BEACH – A dog groomer in Osage Beach has made it a mission to train service dogs after she... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, December 09 2018 Dec 9, 2018 Sunday, December 09, 2018 2:08:00 PM CST December 09, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 24°
8am 30°
9am 33°
10am 38°
11am 42°