Blog #14: No Chips for Us, Please.
A local food bank in Washington D.C. surprised communities with their recent decision to start turning down junk food donations. Capital Area Food Bank, the largest organization in the Washington metro area supports 540,000 people annually, and as of this fall, they will officially stop accepting junk food.
When asked why, Nancy Roman, CEO of Capital Area Food Bank, stated that as the food bank is used on a regular basis by low-income community members, it is important the food provided is healthy and doesn`t negatively affect their health. According to the food bank, 22% of people who access the food bank have, or live with, someone who has diabetes. By taking junk food off the shelves, CAFB will be try to improve the food donated to users.
“We are providing food on a regular basis to a low-income community, and we have a moral obligation that it be good food that’s not aggravating their (health) problems”
– Nancy Roman, CEO of Capital Area Food Bank
Food Banks in Canada
In Canada, the 2008 recession triggered an increase in the number of people using food banks nationally by 26%, and these numbers have remained high ever since. According to Food Banks Canada, over 850,000 Canadians visit a food bank every month.
In Ontario, 40% of food provided to patrons is either a fresh or perishable item and food banks work extremely hard to promote the donation of healthier items to users. However, food banks rely heavily on donations from the community, so the banning of junk food wouldn’t necessarily lead to an increase in healthier donations.
What are your thoughts on a no junk food policy for foodbanks? Thoughts and comments are always welcome!