During National Nutrition Month this March, we shift focus to show how Feeding Florida’s food banks provide more than food and meal boxes. Our food banks provide life-changing resources that promote overall health and wellbeing. They offer unique programs so all our families have the tools needed to make healthy lifestyle choices. Here’s a snapshot of some of our food banks’ nutrition programs.
Feeding South Florida offers some our of most innovative nutrition-based programs. The Mobile Farmacy brings no cost food to sponsored sites, or it brings low-cost food to communities and accepts SNAP benefits and provides Fresh Access Bucks. Feeding South Florida works with several healthcare providers to prevent, delay, or manage diet-related diseases and conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure, by providing Medically Tailored Meals that comply with dietary requirements.
Their Senior Nutrition Education Program includes enrichment activities, recipes, and lesson plans that help older adults learn about making smart choices that are in line with the USDA’s MyPlate and the Thrifty Meal Plan. The food bank also provides nutritional “nudges” and recipes in their Community Caring Centers.
Feeding South Florida is a proud partner of Partnership for a Healthier America Healthy Hunger Relief program which includes tracking inventory to ensure Foods 2 Encourage (foods that meet U.S. Department of Agriculture’s MyPlate nutritional standards), providing nutrition education and other best practice requirements. To learn more about Feeding South Florida’s programs, click here>>
Through a partnership with the St. Lucie County School District, Treasure Coast Food Bank stores and transports farm-fresh offerings to all St. Lucie County students in each of St. Lucie County’s 42 public schools through their USDA Farm 2 School program. Through a number of collaborative partnerships, TCFB provides direct food assistance, nutrition education, health management, and medical prescreening for chronic illnesses. The food bank manages a Diabetes Awareness Program assisting clients with management of their condition through diet and education. TCFB also works with 4 local youth programs to provide nutritious meals and nutrition education to children from low-income families in a safe and secure after-school environment.
All Faiths Food Bank founded its DeSoto Food & Resource Center in 2019 to provide wrap-around services to food insecure individuals in the area. Some services provided at the center include extended days and hours for distribution, including evenings and weekends to serve those who cannot access other All Faiths Food Bank food distributions, free emergency food, free application assistance for SNAP, Medicaid, TANF, Social Security, Disability, Florida KidCare, and group education opportunities. AFFB also offers nutrition education to teach individuals and families how to shop for and prepare healthy, low-cost meals.
Feeding Tampa Bay is committed to improving the lives of families and individuals in the Tampa Bay area with nutrition education programs focused on diet, shopping and cooking tips. Their website includes a recipe of the month plus a list of fresh, in-season produce items with related recipes to ensure individuals know what’s readily available and how to prepare it. Tampa Bay area residents can also find medically tailored food guides for diet-related illnesses.
Tampa’s Feeding Minds program brings food pantries to school grounds, providing easy access to healthy groceries for families in need where their Nutrition Education team holds classes at school pantries before distribution. These classes consist of two 15-minute lessons on healthy eating and food safety. Feeding Minds also uses food demonstrations as a tool to give parents practical ways to prepare food they choose from the pantry. Recipes supplement the demonstration and are accessible at the school pantries.
FTB’s fully-equipped mobile kitchen brings cooking demonstrations, taste tests, and recipes directly into the communities they serve by offering families the opportunity to try recipes made with the foods distributed at their pantries that they may not have tried before, or unveil new ways of cooking pantry staples.
Second Harvest of Central Florida offers an array of nutrition programming to promote and support the distribution of healthy foods, including safe food handling training, workshops for feeding partner staff and volunteers, cooking demonstrations, and classes for children and adults at feeding partner sites. SHCF also offers senior nutrition education classes to ensure older adults in their community are aware of their healthy food options to ensure overall health.
Foods 2 Encourage, a Feeding America program all of our food banks engage in, also provides Second Harvest with tools that assist in measuring the nutrition quality of the food they distribute and promote, making sure the vast majority of food provided to families is as nutritious as possible