The Brunswick Wellness Coalition recently launched its Give Healthy campaign to emphasize donations of healthier food to those who are food insecure.
“Food insecurity is defined as a lack of consistent access to enough food for an active, healthy life. Children and adults suffering from food insecurity report poor physical and mental health, and have a much higher rate of developing diet-related health issues like obesity, diabetes, depression and cancer,” the release stated.
“We are grateful to those who donate to our local food pantries, especially since Hurricane Florence, but what our residents need most is nourishment,” Lindsay Maher, the coalition’s executive director, said in the release. “We need to focus on donating foods that are high in fiber, nutrients and protein, which will keep people full longer and make them feel better.”
More than 5,000 children and 12,000 adults are food insecure in Brunswick County and routinely rely on food donations and subsidies, according to coalition officials.
“Because of Hurricane Florence, thousands have been displaced, which has resulted in even more individuals and families in need. Donors continue to respond to this growing need and by being more mindful of the type of food donated will result in a far greater, positive impact on the health of the community,” the release said.
More than 30 pallets of snack foods were received after hurricane Florence, said Stephanie Bowen, Brunswick Family Assistance’s executive director.
“While we are very grateful for all donations, we do hope that the Give Healthy campaign will encourage the wonderful donors in our community to give foods that are rich in nutrients so that the people we serve can live healthier lives,” Bowen said.
Foods promoted in the Give Healthy campaign, according to the release, include:
• Lean proteins such as nuts, low sodium and all-natural peanut butter, dry beans or low-sodium canned beans and canned chicken or seafood packed in water.
• Fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables. If canned, items should be in either 100 percent water or 100 percent juice with no added salt and/or no added sugar.
• Low sodium (500 milligrams or less) soups that include vegetables and have at least 2 grams of fiber.
• Pasta, rice, cereal and breads that are 100 percent whole grain or whole wheat with no added sugar or very low sugar (less than 8 grams per serving).
Individuals and organizations interested in hosting a Give Healthy food drive, or in finding out more information about the campaign, can contact the group at 444-1872 or [email protected]
The group helps market the drives and provides educational materials to promote healthy food donations.