Health influences every part of one’s life, which is why good nutrition is vital.
Making the right food choices is especially important during childhood, when kids need nutrients for growth, brain development and healthy bones. This is often a challenge for the 400,000 food insecure kids in New Jersey.
It is hard enough for hungry people to find food, let alone give their families healthy meals. Families might be forced to choose cheaper, less nutritious food over healthier choices. That is the case for 75 percent of Community FoodBank of New Jersey clients.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, food insecure children are more vulnerable to sickness, vitamin deficiencies, weak bones, malnutrition and behavioral issues. And, food is their fuel to concentrate in school; it is difficult to focus on an empty stomach.
“Health begins where children live, learn, and play,” the AAP says. “When families can’t afford the basics in life, it negatively affects their health.”
That is where CFBNJ and our partners come in. We work to provide those in need with healthy options, including a variety of fruits and vegetables. The FoodBank increased its collection of produce – fresh, frozen and canned – by nearly 15 percent from 2014 to 2015, totaling more than 11 million pounds of produce this past year.
For information and recipes to help lead a healthy life, here are several resources.