I really had a concern after working with the food bank with how healthy the food is that is being given to clients. My question is how can the USDA provide healthier food? Through research I found that many people are being affected by the unhealthy foods that are being provided. It would make a huge difference if the elderly or obese population had access to fresh food, rather than boxed and canned. I wanted to write a letter to the senator so that he knew how important it is to
some people’s health to be on a certain diet. The story of the 77-year old lady who couldn’t afford food and had a specific diet really got me to understand how important my question really is. I would hate to be in that position and I would live a much healthier lifestyle knowing I had somewhere to go that could provide me with food I needed to stay on my diet.
My research collection:
“Food Bank May Lead to More Health Problems.” OuRXperience. Bobbi Albano, 1 June 2011.
Web. 10 Mar. 2014.
This article talks about how a son has to take care of his 77 year-old mother who struggles with high cholesterol and high blood pressure. He can only afford $150 on food for the both of them and is struggling to find healthy foods through the food bank. This is a very good source as it talks about someone who is going through being poor as well as having health problems, which is exactly what I am trying to target as being the problem.
“Children from Poor Families Are More Likely to Eat Junk Food, Claim Researchers.” Mail Online.
Associated Newspapers, 23 Aug. 2012. Web. 10 Mar. 2014.
This source talks about how children who grow up with poorer parents are most likely to gain unhealthy habits of eating. They are forced to eat unhealthy items at a young age and it says that within the first few years, this will catch on to the child and they won’t be able to change their eating habits. This is from a popular source and it helps me to know how impactful a parent’s diet is their child’s.
Rich and Poor – the Unequal Struggle.” New Scientist. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Mar. 2014
This article portrayed a different view, but it can be very useful for the information that my question needs. It showed that poor living is associated with stress which is associated with heart disease. It really makes a good point that low social status can mean a high level of stress, and that this affects their children as well. Birth defects and deaths are at a higher risk when being born from someone with malnutrition. This can affect the baby even if the mother is eating but not eating the correct foods to provide key nutrients to their womb.
The Public Writing
I am writing to you to present a concern I have with the USDA Food bank. After volunteering at the Food Bank for some time now, I have noticed how unhealthy the food items are. There are boxed dinners, doughnuts, etc. This has me worried based on the amount of people who need healthy food the most, but can’t afford it. I did some research and found an article on a man who had to take care of his 77-year old mother and himself with only $150 per month for food. His mother has high cholesterol and high blood pressure and is on a very strict diet (Bobbi Albano, 2011). They are relying on the food bank to get food and are struggling with her health. I believe this is a huge example and reason that USDA Food banks should start to gain healthier foods. Whether that means by donations, or by the USDA providing it.
Working in the food bank it is very sad to see people that are already unhealthy taking free food that isn’t going to give them much nutrition. I want them to come out even stronger, not with more health problems that they can’t afford. I can see it in their eyes that we are doing them a huge favor, and it feels amazing to be a part of it. What would make it even better is seeing them come out with granola bars, oranges, salads, and wheat bread, etc. I would love to see more food banks serving fresh food and vegetables for dinner or lunch services where they can eat a full meal at the location since some can’t take food home to refrigerate. I have seen places like the Portland rescue mission and soup kitchens do this but It would be great to expand this containing healthier food items.
I understand how difficult it is for the USDA food bank to give out healthy food. There are so many in different places and many only take donations, but can we convince people to donate healthy food? Many fruits and vegetables are going to waste around households, so why not urge people to give those things to those in need rather than only taking in non-perishable items? This is something I am very passionate about. I don’t think citizens should just be told to give up the gross food that they won’t eat, rather the healthy food that may go to waste.
Many people do not have the abilities to keep their food fresh for a long amount of time, but some do and I can see this making a huge difference in their lives. America also struggles with obesity and I feel that those in need are at more of a risk to be obese if food banks continue to carry food that is high in fat and sodium. I really appreciate everything that the USDA Food Bank does. I love helping them out through my local church and giving out food to those who will have use for it, I just think we should take a healthier approach.
Thank you for your consideration,
Hillsboro, Oregon 97124
With this research, I tried to dig as deep as possible and hit all of the points that I wanted to. I tried to take my time and get the best articles I could find. This really helped me to find out more information and to prove that this is really a problem. My most significant learning was how much people struggle with their health. The USDA Food bank is a highly successful program but many clients see it as unhealthy. I was really astonished when I heard about the elderly, the obese, and the pregnant women. Their babies can suffer from malnutrition if the mother doesn’t eat enough highly nutritious foods. This is very important and was very eye opening for me, and I hope it is for you too. It was great to see that the senators have a place for the public to state their concerns. I didn’t realize this was around and I loved being able to be a part of it.