Community Health and Nutrition in America

Hunger and health are deeply connected. People who are food insecure are disproportionally affected by diet-sensitive chronic diseases such as diabetes and high blood pressure, and according to research, food insecurity is also linked to many adverse effects to overall health.

 Feeding America fights hunger and promotes good nutrition in America.

Currently, more than half (58%) of the households served by the Feeding America network of food banks have at least one member living with high blood pressure, and more than one-third (33%) has a member with diabetes. Unfortunately, not only are food insecure clients at a higher risk of diet-sensitive chronic disease but they also face many more challenges in managing their disease once it occurs.

Living with the double burden of poor health and food insecurity has forced many of people served by the Feeding America network to make difficult tradeoffs in the past year so as to place food on the table. For those struggling with hunger, sound nutrition often seems impossible to attain. Two-thirds (66%) of households have had to choose between food and medical care. Knowing this is a reality for many, learn more about how Feeding America is addressing hunger, health and nutrition in America.

Hunger in America 2014, Trade-Offs

Healthy Food is the Foundation of Good Health

“The woman acted like she had been handed a winning lottery ticket. With tears in her eyes, she shared the excitement of fresh fruit and  milk with her children.”  The Feeding America food bank network is helping people in need access healthy foods by sourcing and distributing more Foods to Encourage—foods that promote good health, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy and lean proteins. Today, 68 percent of food received by the network is classified as Foods to Encourage – the nutritional framework of Feeding America focusing on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy and lean proteins and aligning closely with USDA’s MyPlate Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

In addition, Feeding America is working to educate, connect and engage health, nutrition and hunger-relief professionals, as well as those experiencing hunger. We provide simple recipes like those found on the Healthy Food Bank Hub, tailored education for individuals experiencing food insecurity and community connections to health care providers - all in an effort to make the healthy choice the easy choice and support stabilizing the lives of those served by the Feeding America network.

To stay engaged with our nutrition and health efforts, visit Feeding America’s nutrition and health-focused microsite, Healthy Food Bank Hub.


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