How would you manage if you were unemployed, lost your job, had low wages or disabilities? Far too many of our neighbors are facing these challenges (for example, 20% of our Foodshelf clients have disabilities.) The Foodshelf helps fill in the food gaps as well as connect our clients with other supportive resources.
We try offer healthy foods to keep our neighbors healthy, and we need your help. People struggling with low income suffer higher rates of obesity and chronic diseases, and their limited access to healthy foods is a major factor. Here’s how you can help break this poor food cycle when donating to the Foodshelf (and when shopping for yourself and your family, too!):
- Dried Fruit with no added sugar: Examples: Dates, prunes, figs, apricot, peaches, apples and pears.
- Canned Fruit in Juice, not Syrup: Look for “in juice” on the label. Syrup adds unnecessary calories and sugars.
- Reduced-sodium canned Vegetables & Soups: Look for “reduced-sodium” or “low-sodium.” High sodium intake can cause high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke.
- Canned Fish & Meat: Packed in water, not oil. Compare labels to find products low in sodium, saturated fats and cholesterol.
- Whole Grain Pasta: A “whole grain” should be the first on the ingredients’ list. There are several health benefits to whole and multigrain pasta over other forms of pasta.
- Brown Rice: Several studies have found that brown rice reduced the risks for Type 2 diabetes and other chronic diseases compared with white rice.
- Whole Grain Bread: A “whole grain” should be the first on the ingredients’ list. There are several health benefits to whole and multigrain bread over those made of made from refined flour.
- Whole Grain Cereal: A “whole grain” should be the first on the ingredients’ list. There are several health benefits to whole and multigrain cereals.
- Whole Grain Crackers: A “whole grain” should be the first on the ingredients’ list. There are several health benefits to whole and multigrain crackers over others.
- Low or No Salt Crackers: Whether Whole Grain or not, check the packaging for sodium content. “Low Sodium” is 140mg sodium or less per serving.
- Gluten Free Products: More and more people are developing sensitivity to wheat gluten and need gluten free foods. Look for “gluten free” on the label.
- Plain Bottled Water: Water is the recommended beverage because it contains no calories and offers many other health benefits. Make sure there are not added sugars or artificial sweeteners such as, saccharin or aspartame.
- 100% Juice: The label will usually state if the liquid has 100% juice. If not 100% fruit juice, the product has added sugars, salt and/or artificial ingredients that contribute to obesity and other chronic diseases.
- Soy Milk: Soy milk has about the same amount of protein as regular milk with less saturated fats and no cholesterol. Get “calcium enriched.” The brands available on the store shelf can be stored without refrigeration.
- Granola Bars: Look for bars with less than 200 calories per serving, less than 35% of calories from fat and less than 17 grams of sugar.
- Sugar Free Products: Many products, from soups to cereals to macaroni and cheese contain high levels of hidden sugar. People with diabetes need sugar-free foods, so check the nutritional label.
Please feel free to stop in if you are in need of food assistance, to make a donation, or to find out about volunteer opportunities. We are located at the Putney Community Center (10 Christian Square — ramp side entrance). The hours of operation are 6–7 p.m. on Tuesday evenings and 9–10 a.m. on Saturday mornings. For more information please call 802-387-2120 (Putney Family Services generously allows us to use their phone number and forwards messages to us).