Community Give Fest

Community Give Fest increases access to healthier food options

Nutritious food options are not always readily available at food pantries. This can be a challenge for people who need healthier food options. The 2014 Community Give Fest, running September 7-28, has been organized by the Ottawa County Food Policy Council, Ottawa County Department of Public Health and five local food pantries. The food drive coordinator, Amy Oosterink, helped reach out to church members, asking members to consider giving healthier food options to participating pantries;

  • Love INC of Hudsonville,
  • Love INC of Allendale,
  • Community Action House of Holland,
  • Salvation Army of Grand Haven and
  • His Harvest Stand of Zeeland.

“Many local food pantry clients need healthy foods, due to their health conditions. Others desire healthy foods, to meet their families’ basic needs. Please consider giving healthier shelf-stable food items the next time you donate,” said Lisa Uganski, RD Health Educator with the Ottawa County Department of Public Health.  According to the USDA, 15.9 million children (18 years of age or younger) live in households that do not consistently  have access to enough nutritious foods necessary for a healthy life.

Food pantries benefit from healthy food donations. Consider giving to your local pantry:

  • Canned vegetables (low sodium or no salt added preferred)
  • Vegetable juice with no salt added
  • Canned fruit in 100% juice
  • 100% fruit juice
  • 100% whole grain bread or pasta; brown rice (without added fat or cheese)
  • Whole grain cereals without added sugar (oatmeal/shredded wheat)
  • Dried or canned beans with no salt added
  • Canned chicken and canned tuna in water, with 140mg sodium or less per serving
  • Peanut butter
  • Shelf-stable low fat dairy products (boxed milk, dry milk or evaporated milk)
  • Soup with less than 400 mg sodium per serving

Submitted by Kristina Wieghmink, M.Ed. Communications Specialist, Ottawa County Department of Public Health

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