This March, Feeding America celebrates National Nutrition Month® with the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and other public health partners. The National Nutrition Month® theme this year highlights the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating habits. This message ties directly to the work of Feeding America and our national network of food banks as we partner with public health and healthcare sectors to improve diet quality for people who are food insecure.
Positioned to Make a Difference
Feeding America is committed to improving both food security and diet quality for the people we serve. Our network of 200 food banks reaches over 40 million people each year, and is uniquely positioned to improve diet quality and have a critically important impact for a number of reasons:
- People served by the Feeding America network are disproportionately impacted by nutrition-sensitive diseases and related diet and health disparities.
- Exposure to new and nutritious foods and ensuring consistent access to these foods reinforces nutritious choices and creates healthier norms while supporting long term healthier behaviors and environments.
- Increasing access to nutritious choices and supportive information and services can increase people’s confidence in being able to maintain a healthy diet.
As a nationwide network, Feeding America is committed to address barriers to healthy eating at the systems, policy, and organizational level while empowering local food banks to address needs at the community, interpersonal, and individual levels.
Commitment to Improving Diet Quality
For years, the Feeding America network of food banks has used nutrition education to create a healthy food environment and increase the selection of nutritious foods in order to make the healthy choice the easy choice. Building on this work, Feeding America is committing to help increase access to and the consumption of nutritious foods. Through strategic national and local healthcare partnerships, we are building awareness and support for opportunities that address the links between food security, diet quality and health. Feeding America is currently working towards:
- Building, translating and disseminating effective strategies that support healthy eating,
- Providing models, frameworks, templates and validated tools to implement, scale and evaluate interventions aimed at improving dietary quality within food-insecure populations,
- Developing partnerships with national healthcare organizations to add their voices, resources and expertise in addressing food insecurity as a social determinant of health, and
- Providing technical assistance to health care providers to support local health care – food bank partnership approaches to address food insecurity and health.
All of these activities build on Feeding America’s ongoing commitment to provide increased access to nutritious foods in communities served by the network of food banks.
Join us on this journey of creating healthy food environments where the healthy choice is the easy choice so that food-insecure families and individuals can make informed food choices that develop into sound eating habits for a healthy and food secure future.
To learn more visit Hunger + Health for information and resources tailored for hunger-relief, nutrition and health professionals, as well as researchers and local/national partners. Explore the site to find healthy recipes and resources, visit our peer-sharing blog platform, and download the custom widget creator tool to directly link Hunger + Health resources within your own website.
Christine Rivera RD, is a member of Feeding America’s Health and Nutrition team and brings over 10 years experience in food insecurity, nutrition and health. As Feeding America’s Health and Nutrition Manager, Christine supports the nationwide network of food banks and their partner agencies as they work to improve access to healthy foods and provide nutrition and health education to people they serve. As a Registered Dietitian, Christine has spent much of her career in public health and is personally committed to providing healthy food to families in need.