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No junk food for this food drive

Nancy+E.+Roman%2C+CEO+of+the+Capital+Area+Food+Bank.
Nancy E. Roman, CEO of the Capital Area Food Bank.

Nancy E. Roman, CEO of the Capital Area Food Bank.

Nancy E. Roman, CEO of the Capital Area Food Bank.

Alexandria Brierre, Reporter

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The Capital Area Food Bank, who serves more than 500,000 residents in Washington, DC, Maryland, and Virginia,  has noticed an increase in soda, baked sweets, salty chips, and other unhealthy foods this season.

Nancy E. Roman, CEO of the Capital Area Food Bank.

The Chief Executive Officer of the food bank, Nancy Roman, notices that people who have a lower income are more likely to have cardiac diseases and other health issues. She believes that sending them foods that are non-nutritious will not help these issues.

These food banks are doing just the right thing to break the bond between obesity, cardiac diseases, and people who cannot afford to buy the correct foods. In 2013, the Harvard School of Public Health conducted a study and found that purchasing healthier food options can cost about $1.50 per day per person more than buying unhealthy foods. This can total up to $2,200 per year for a standard family of four. The families who receive help from the Capital Area Food Bank, and other food banks in the United States, usually cannot afford such a high price for food.

 

In past years, foods that are healthier for you have gone up in price, while unhealthy foods have decreased in price.

That is why it is important that food banks make sure that hearty foods are getting to people in need. However, it isn’t just the food banks that need to be working to solve problems. Companies that sell nutritious foods need to be more accessible to the everyday shopper. When companies sell their organic, high quality foods at mainstream grocery stores, not only are these foods less expensive, but it makes it give all shoppers the opportunity to buy wholesome meals.

It’s remarkable how many food banks have jumped on board with CAFB. The San Francisco-Marin Food Bank in California and the Ottawa Parkdale Food Centre in Ontario, Canada have both stopped excepting poor quality foods and sweets. However, Ottawa Parkdale has stopped taking foods like Kraft dinners, hot dogs, and many other foods. “I don’t want canned stew, Alpha-Getti, Kraft dinner, pop, chips, candy,” Karen Secord, the co-coordinator of the food bank says. She believes that everyone deserves good-quality foods, even if they can’t afford it.

Karen Secord, the co-coordinator of the Ottawa Parkdale Food Centre.

Low-income families are not the only people who often depend on canned or pre-packaged dinners when there isn’t enough time to make fresh food. Although they aren’t as hearty as a fresh meal, they will do the job most nights, compared to other junk foods that the banks are receiving. However, the people getting food from OPFC are happy with the bank’s decision.

It’s important to remember that junk food is not always bad. Eating a slice of cake and some potato chips isn’t bad when you eat in moderation. However, when people who’s only way of feeding themselves is through the help of a food bank, and the food bank is regularly supplying them with junk food, there begins to be a problem.

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