Nutrition education is any combination of educational strategies, accompanied by environmental supports, designed to facilitate voluntary adoption of food choices and other food- and nutrition-related behaviors conducive to health and well-being. Nutrition education is delivered through multiple venues and involves activities at the individual, community, and policy levels [i].
Nutrition education programs and resources encourage individuals and families in communities across the country to make healthier choices regarding the types of foods for purchase and consumption. Many obstacles, such as funding, timing, and staff resources, can be present when it comes to providing effective nutrition education services. However, the need for these services are expansive and food distribution sites can play a critical role in educating the community. Along with providing the nutrition education services for the community, it is essential for the food being distributed to reflect the nutrition education message.
Feeding America strives to provide those facing hunger access to healthful Foods to Encourage such as fruits and vegetables, whole grains, low fat dairy and lean protein as emphasized on USDA’s 2015 Dietary Guidelines. Foods to Encourage is Feeding America’s approach to estimate the nutritional contributions of food categories in food banks’ inventories.