Maintaining Good Nutrition When You Accept Help from Food Programs
You don’t have to sacrifice nutrition simply because you’re low on funds. For those who take part in programs that help supply food, use the tips below to make sure you’re getting food that is nutritious for yourself and your family.
Choose healthier foods from food banks. Read labels and choose foods that meet your nutrition standards. This should become easier over time because food pantries and food banks are upgrading their inventory by including current nutrition trends in determining acceptable donations. For instance, you’ll likely see less availability of soda and candy in the months to come or the removal of such items all together.
Learn about trends in nutrition needs by examining WIC approved items in the grocery store or going on the WIC website. WIC has good nutritional standards that incorporate government guidelines especially regarding including fresh fruits and vegetables in individual diets. While some WIC products may not meet your current nutrition standards such as WIC permitting canned products that are not low sodium, many other WIC needs better reflect current nutrition standards such as a prohibition against baby foods with added sugar or salt.
Do not shop in stores that charge higher prices for WIC items. Recent news reports have discussed how some local stores charge more for WIC products to obtain higher government reimbursement on these items. If you notice that your grocery store is charging unreasonable amounts for WIC items notify authorities in your state and or choose to shop somewhere else.
Many religious organizations that provide food are encouraging their donors to provide healthier alternatives that can benefit your family. Some have even created lists of the best items to donate including lower sodium and no-sugar added canned fish and meat products. Many also have the ability to accept donations of fresh produce to include in your menu.
Consider contributing a few hours a month to helping the charitable organizations that help you to help sustain the existence of such programs. Ask whether they need help managing their food inventory or keeping it in clean locations, et cetera to preserve food availability and quality.
Fresh fruits and vegetables provide a lot of good nutrition with limited additives but access to fresh fruits and vegetables is not always available. If you are looking for fresh fruits and vegetables there are programs where local gardeners and farmers donate extra supplies of fresh fruits and veggies that you can find out about by contacting local food pantries or charitable organizations such as AmpleHarvest.
Use your food dollar budget to support retailers who donate and support charities to help individuals facing hunger by researching or asking about your grocery store’s participation in a feed the hungry program. Encouraging US efforts to provide nutritious foods to our hungry can be supported by shopping in places that take part in charitable works that support feeding hungry individuals.
Nutritional needs are being supported by changes in programs that help supply food. Use the tips above for supporting your good nutrition goals when you need help in getting food.