Give generously to your local food bank this holiday season, and make sure you’re giving the stuff they really need.
Thanksgiving rocks. It's a long holiday weekend to spend with family and friends and a chance to give thanks for a life that's good. Of course, it's also a great time to think about helping people who might not have enough to eat by donating to a canned food drive that benefits your local food bank.
Silvia Davi, Chief Marketing Officer for Food Bank For New York City, told BuzzFeed Life that donations to area food banks, which help feed millions of Americans, are more important than ever because of cuts to federal funding of food assistance programs.
Davi adds, “Part of what Food Bank prides itself on is nutrition education and offering healthy foods to those we serve. We welcome food donations low in fat and sodium, high in protein, and rich in all the kinds of good ingredients that you would find in your own homes.”
She stresses that food banks in New York and around the country are looking for healthy options to make sure individuals and families who need assistance are getting nutritious meals, so we asked nutritionists to weigh in on the best foods you can donate. And don't forget, their tips for making healthy eating choices around the holidays can apply to you, too.
100% Juice Drinks
Food banks like to have juices on hand, especially for kids, but juices with high fructose corn syrup can be harmful for kids who are struggling to get proper nutrition. Nutrition consultant Keri Gans, MS, RDN, CDN, told BuzzFeed Life, “As long as it is 100% fruit juice it is a healthy choice,” so just make sure that percentage checks out before you donate.
Food banks face high traffic around the holidays and need lots of these seasonal staples. Holiday foods aren't always the most healthy; Gans recommends looking for stuffing mix that's low in sodium and notes that cranberry sauce and sweet potatoes can be “packed with antioxidants which help strengthen your immune system during cold and flu season.”