Thanks to our generous supporters, the Food Bank will distribute a little more than 49 million pounds of food in the coming year – providing over 30,000 low-income families with nourishment each week. But our mission is so much more than just receiving and distributing food. We have a team of nutrition education experts, hard at work, developing new programs aimed at teaching participants how to make the most of the healthy food they receive on a weekly basis.
“Our goal is to make the healthy choice the easy choice for neighbors who receive food assistance,” says Molly Burke, the Food Bank’s Nutrition Education Program Manager.
She is particularly excited about the launch of two pioneer programs in 2017. One centers on teenagers and the other will focus on pregnant women, new moms, and caregivers.
“Teens Tackle the Kitchen” is a 4-week, interactive series that will engage teens in healthy competition to make the healthiest, tastiest meals and snacks they can using Food Bank ingredients.
“By making our cooking workshops fun and competitive, we’re hoping to engage teens more effectively,” said Burke. “Learning how to cook healthy food from scratch encourages teens avoid unhealthy, processed foods and is a great skill that they can carry with them into adulthood.”
Senior Nutrition Education Coordinator Nalleli Martinez will head up the Food Bank’s other new program, “Healthy Moms, Healthy Babies.” It will encourage new mothers to think about nutrition not only for themselves, but also for their babies during one of the most important and often hectic times of transition in their lives.
“We know that good health depends on good nutrition right from the start,” said Martinez. “Our aim is to foster smart choices and behaviors that can boost mothers’ health, their babies’ health, and the health of their entire family moving forward.”