At the Partnership for a Healthier America’s (PHA) sixth annual Building a Healthier Future Summit held last week in Washington D.C., Feeding America® announced its commitment to help increase access to healthy food options for the 46 million people served by the network of 200 member food banks across the country.
Feeding America, the nation’s largest hunger-relief organization, distributed more than four billion pounds of food last fiscal year, one third of which was fresh produce. As part of its commitment to PHA, Feeding America will work to increase distribution of fruits and vegetables to nearly half of the total pounds of food distributed. In addition, Feeding America will work with member food banks and pantries to help make the healthy choice the easiest choice.
Many of the nation’s most prevalent chronic illnesses are diet-related, including obesity, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, and type 2 diabetes. These diseases can be prevented or mitigated by access to and consumption of healthful food.
“People struggling with food insecurity face the burden of not only getting enough to eat, but also accessing nutrient-rich foods that promote health and help reduce risk of chronic disease,” said Diana Aviv, CEO of Feeding America. “As a network, we have the opportunity to improve the lives of millions of people throughout our country, and we must seize it. Our partnership with PHA underscores our ongoing commitment to the health of the people who turn to charitable assistance to put food on the table.”
According to a study conducted by Feeding America, more than half of the households who are helped by food banks have at least one member with high blood pressure. One third of the total households surveyed have a member with diabetes.
“People receiving assistance from Feeding America’s network of food banks rely on them to ensure their families get the nutrition they need,” said Larry Soler, President and CEO of the Partnership for a Healthier America. “We are proud to partner with this vital organization to ensure that when our friends and neighbors find themselves vulnerable to food insecurity, the food banks and pantries they turn to provide the kind of nourishment — including fresh fruits and vegetables — that contributes to their health and wellness.”
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About Feeding America
Feeding America® is the largest hunger-relief organization in the United States. Through a network of 200 food banks and 60,000 food pantries and meal programs, we provide meals to more than 40 million people each year. Feeding America also supports programs that prevent food waste and improve food security among the people we serve; educates the public about the problem of hunger; and advocates for legislation that protects people from going hungry. Visit www.feedingamerica.org, find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.