Wednesday, November 2, 2011

take a moment and envision hunger (guest post by ruthi solari from super food drive)



as we enter the holiday season where food drives and donating to those less fortunate is more prevalent, please take a moment to read this inspiring and insightful post by ruthi solari at superfood drive. i know that it has caused me, for one, to re-think what i define as "helping" those less fortunate than me is. i hope that it will give you an "ah-ha" moment too.

the opposite of hunger is not "full." the opposite of hunger is "healthy food."

take a moment and close your eyes. try to remember some of the main items that were in your grocery bag the last time you shopped for a week of feeding your family. what did you buy to put in your children’s lunches? what did you bring home for family dinner? how about breakfast?

now clear that image from your mind and take a moment to envision this: you are a single mom with three children to feed. your utilities bill has gone up and you have to save money where you can, so you head to the local food pantry for some food assistance. you wait in line and receive your bag of food for the week. inside the bag, you have canned beef chili, a few packages of top ramen, boxed macaroni and cheese, some jiffy peanut butter and a few more odds and ends. you are invited to a grab a “produce bag” on the way out, which contains 5 onions and 6 potatoes.

if this is the food that you had to use to feed yourself and your family for the coming week, how do you feel? do you feel different than you did thinking about the food you hand-selected to feed your family? many mothers don’t have a choice about what items to feed their children.

feeding america reports that 1 in 6 americans go to a local food pantry for food assistance. nearly 14 million of these are children and over 3 million are children ages 5 and under! we all know that proper nutrition is vital to the grown and development of children. this is why superfood drive seeks to transform local food drives, national food banks and global humanitarian aid into being providers of nutrient dense non-perishables; food that promotes health and well-being.

SuperFood Driveis a 501(c)3 non-profit organization committed to fighting hunger and obesity in america by getting healthier food into food banks nation-wide. it is the small changes that make a significant difference in the health of the food bank recipient. we encourage the donation of black beans instead of refried in lard, fruit canned in its own juice instead of high fructose corn syrup, and whole grain cereal and snack options.

what can you do to help give the gift of health? here are a few ideas:

1. over the holidays, hundreds of organizations host food drives (banks, schools, grocery stores, places of worship and community centers). be a healthy food advocate and turn your local food drive into a Super Food Drive by encouraging the donation of nutrient densenon-perishables. click here for shopping lists and educational materials to help promote.

2. we have an awesome service-learning program called SuperKids for SuperFoods. this program encourages middle and high school students to fight hunger with healthy food by hosting their very own Super Food Drive. we have educational materials and a tool kit for any parent or teacher to take leadership and help today’s youth understand the importance of eating healthy food for themselves and americans in need. click here for more info about SuperKids for SuperFoods

3. donate healthy food the next time you give to a food drive! check out our list of “most needed SuperFoods” and use this list to both stock your own pantry and give to those in need.

4. sign up for our newsletter, “like”our facebook page and follow us on twitter (@SuperFoodDrive). join our efforts to give the gift of health!

To learn more, visit us at www.SuperFoodDrive.org

ruthi solari, founder and executive director