The food pantry is growing in healthier food options

9 months 1 week 5 days 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
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Missouri State Capitol has recently completed an effort to restore and conserve the building's... More >>
3 days ago Saturday, December 15 2018 Dec 15, 2018 Saturday, December 15, 2018 3:26:00 PM CST December 15, 2018 in News
BOONVILLE - Anyone walking around Boonville might be able to play a game of "I spy" now that painted rocks... More >>
3 days ago Saturday, December 15 2018 Dec 15, 2018 Saturday, December 15, 2018 10:50:00 AM CST December 15, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA- High school football teams from around the state will travel to Memorial Stadium for the next five years to... More >>
3 days ago Saturday, December 15 2018 Dec 15, 2018 Saturday, December 15, 2018 9:41:00 AM CST December 15, 2018 in Sports
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump says Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke , who's facing federal investigations into his travel, political... More >>
3 days ago Saturday, December 15 2018 Dec 15, 2018 Saturday, December 15, 2018 8:53:00 AM CST December 15, 2018 in News
ASHLAND - The Southern Boone Area YMCA will build a new 15,714 square-foot facility in the next two years, if... More >>
3 days ago Saturday, December 15 2018 Dec 15, 2018 Saturday, December 15, 2018 7:48:00 AM CST December 15, 2018 in News
ALTON, Ill. (AP) — Authorities are looking for a man who is suspected of fleeing to Missouri after officers shot... More >>
4 days ago Saturday, December 15 2018 Dec 15, 2018 Saturday, December 15, 2018 7:12:00 AM CST December 15, 2018 in News
PERRYVILLE, Mo. (AP) — A former county official from southeast Missouri already in prison on a conviction of exploiting the... More >>
4 days ago Saturday, December 15 2018 Dec 15, 2018 Saturday, December 15, 2018 7:09:52 AM CST December 15, 2018 in News
NEW BLOOMFIELD - The Holts Summit Police Department has offered to include New Bloomfield in its coverage area for the... More >>
4 days ago Friday, December 14 2018 Dec 14, 2018 Friday, December 14, 2018 9:47:00 PM CST December 14, 2018 in News
(CNN) -- A federal judge in Texas said on Friday that the Affordable Care Act's individual coverage mandate is unconstitutional... More >>
4 days ago Friday, December 14 2018 Dec 14, 2018 Friday, December 14, 2018 8:12:00 PM CST December 14, 2018 in News
WASHINGTON - A new report released Friday ranks Missouri 48th in the nation for tobacco use prevention programs. ... More >>
4 days ago Friday, December 14 2018 Dec 14, 2018 Friday, December 14, 2018 8:08:00 PM CST December 14, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The South End Zone Project at Faurot Field is just over halfway through its construction timeline and people... More >>
4 days ago Friday, December 14 2018 Dec 14, 2018 Friday, December 14, 2018 3:46:00 PM CST December 14, 2018 in News
FULTON - Connie Cashion is the 2018 winner for the city's Jane Bierdeman-Fike Humanitarian Award. The award goes to... More >>
4 days ago Friday, December 14 2018 Dec 14, 2018 Friday, December 14, 2018 3:16:00 PM CST December 14, 2018 in News
FULTON - A Fulton nonprofit surpassed their volunteer goal and is able to give over 400 children a Christmas miracle.... More >>
4 days ago Friday, December 14 2018 Dec 14, 2018 Friday, December 14, 2018 2:52:00 PM CST December 14, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - State Auditor Nicole Galloway will join the investigation into Josh Hawley's use of funds during his Senate... More >>
4 days ago Friday, December 14 2018 Dec 14, 2018 Friday, December 14, 2018 2:44:00 PM CST December 14, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Students walking around MU's famous Quad may have seen an unexpected visitor Thursday. MU student Massimo Montalbano... More >>
4 days ago Friday, December 14 2018 Dec 14, 2018 Friday, December 14, 2018 1:50:00 PM CST December 14, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The scooter company Lime announced it has taken its scooters out of Columbia for the immediate future. ... More >>
4 days ago Friday, December 14 2018 Dec 14, 2018 Friday, December 14, 2018 1:49:00 PM CST December 14, 2018 in News
(CNN) -- Nearly 40,000 people in the United States died by guns last year, marking the highest number of gun... More >>
4 days ago Friday, December 14 2018 Dec 14, 2018 Friday, December 14, 2018 1:22:00 PM CST December 14, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The number of homeless people living in Boone County has increased in the past 10 years, according to... More >>
4 days ago Friday, December 14 2018 Dec 14, 2018 Friday, December 14, 2018 12:52:00 PM CST December 14, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 38°
8am 39°
9am 42°
10am 46°
11am 49°