The food pantry is growing in healthier food options

9 months 1 week 2 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 - A Lincoln University student died Tuesday night in an off campus incident. Students arrived on a... More >>
3 days ago Wednesday, December 12 2018 Dec 12, 2018 Wednesday, December 12, 2018 11:22:00 AM CST December 12, 2018 in Top Stories
PAGEDALE (AP) — Authorities say two children were wounded in suburban St. Louis after a toddler found a pistol in... More >>
3 days ago Wednesday, December 12 2018 Dec 12, 2018 Wednesday, December 12, 2018 11:07:23 AM CST December 12, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Police are investigating after a person died from a gunshot wound Tuesday night. Wednesday the Jefferson... More >>
3 days ago Wednesday, December 12 2018 Dec 12, 2018 Wednesday, December 12, 2018 9:17:00 AM CST December 12, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Mayor Brian Treece and other special guests will meet Monday to announce the future of Columbia’s holiday parade... More >>
3 days ago Wednesday, December 12 2018 Dec 12, 2018 Wednesday, December 12, 2018 3:29:00 AM CST December 12, 2018 in Top Stories
COLUMBIA- Volunteer hours for the City of Columbia are down from last year. In Columbia, volunteers served 39,204 hours... More >>
3 days ago Wednesday, December 12 2018 Dec 12, 2018 Wednesday, December 12, 2018 3:10:00 AM CST December 12, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - A second-degree domestic assault charge against Missouri Football defensive end Tre Williams will not be filed, according... More >>
4 days ago Tuesday, December 11 2018 Dec 11, 2018 Tuesday, December 11, 2018 8:24:00 PM CST December 11, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - An investigation into a First Student bus concern has lead to an increased police presence in one... More >>
4 days ago Tuesday, December 11 2018 Dec 11, 2018 Tuesday, December 11, 2018 7:29:00 PM CST December 11, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - After almost three years, Jefferson City now has new and improved fire trucks. Jefferson City Fire... More >>
4 days ago Tuesday, December 11 2018 Dec 11, 2018 Tuesday, December 11, 2018 7:03:00 PM CST December 11, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Neighbors on Lasso Circle in Columbia's Old Hawthorne neighborhood feel safe, but are more vigilant exactly a year... More >>
4 days ago Tuesday, December 11 2018 Dec 11, 2018 Tuesday, December 11, 2018 6:07:00 PM CST December 11, 2018 in News
FULTON - Fulton Soup Kitchen is working to open its new location in Fulton, but a $1,700 utilities down payment... More >>
4 days ago Tuesday, December 11 2018 Dec 11, 2018 Tuesday, December 11, 2018 5:18:00 PM CST December 11, 2018 in News
OZARK, Mo. (AP) — The southwest Missouri city of Ozark that had said it was removing a Christian cross from... More >>
4 days ago Tuesday, December 11 2018 Dec 11, 2018 Tuesday, December 11, 2018 5:17:00 PM CST December 11, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA- The Columbia Police Department is investigating a death downtown. CPD announced the investigation on Twitter just after 4... More >>
4 days ago Tuesday, December 11 2018 Dec 11, 2018 Tuesday, December 11, 2018 4:44:00 PM CST December 11, 2018 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — An eastern Missouri doctor has been sentenced to more than three years in prison for prescribing... More >>
4 days ago Tuesday, December 11 2018 Dec 11, 2018 Tuesday, December 11, 2018 2:48:09 PM CST December 11, 2018 in Continuous News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — A Kansas City man who told officers he was planning to kill someone and was "kinda... More >>
4 days ago Tuesday, December 11 2018 Dec 11, 2018 Tuesday, December 11, 2018 2:42:49 PM CST December 11, 2018 in Continuous News
JEFFERSON CITY - As Missouri's Secretary of State waits for a response from the State Auditor, a political expert weighed... More >>
4 days ago Tuesday, December 11 2018 Dec 11, 2018 Tuesday, December 11, 2018 2:41:00 PM CST December 11, 2018 in Top Stories
COLUMBIA - The Columbia Police Department has been dispatched to Ballenger Lane in North Columbia 11 times so far this... More >>
4 days ago Tuesday, December 11 2018 Dec 11, 2018 Tuesday, December 11, 2018 2:21:00 PM CST December 11, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Walgreens is giving Missouri a new tool in the fight against opioid abuse, and it's a simple... More >>
4 days ago Tuesday, December 11 2018 Dec 11, 2018 Tuesday, December 11, 2018 2:02:00 PM CST December 11, 2018 in News
TAOS - A school bus holding 38 students ranging from K-12 was hit head-on Tuesday morning while stopped on Dove... More >>
4 days ago Tuesday, December 11 2018 Dec 11, 2018 Tuesday, December 11, 2018 12:19:00 PM CST December 11, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 34°
3am 31°
4am 31°
5am 31°
6am 31°