American Heart Month

healthy_heart_foodsFittingly, the month of February is American Heart Month, a time dedicated to raising awareness of heart disease, the nation’s leading cause of death. While the public health crises of cardiovascular disease affects all segments of the population, it disproportionately impacts the communities we serve. According to the Hunger in America 2014 study, 39% of the households we serve have at least one person with hypertension. And in our 2014 Nutrition Survey, we learned that nearly 15% of our Food Share clients have heart disease.

According to the American Heart Association, eating more fruits, vegetables and whole grains and limiting sodium, sugar, alcohol and fatty foods reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases. About 5 years ago, the Food Bank recognized the role we could play in helping our clients prevent or manage diet-related diseases. With that in mind, we began working to provide the most nutritious foods possible. In 2014, we distributed more than 3 million pounds of fresh produce. In combination with our work to source and distribute healthy foods, we are providing nutrition education to our clients through our Tasting Table program and our Eat Well. Be Well. nutrition education campaign.

In 2015 and beyond, we will continue to improve our efforts to provide nutritious, heart-healthy foods to our clients.We also intend to expand our nutrition programming through the addition of a new blog, online recipe database and other resources. Stay tuned …