March is National Nutrition Month® and Connecticut Food Bank is recognizing the event in honor of the more than 50 million Americans who lack access, at times, to enough food for an active, healthy life. Connecticut Food Bank provides food assistance to more than 300,000 people who are served by its 650 member programs in six of Connecticut’s eight counties. Last year it distributed 2.4 million pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables to those suffering from hunger.
“National Nutrition Month presents a wonderful opportunity for Connecticut Food Bank to educate and promote its nutritious food programs to the public,” said Nancy L. Carrington, Connecticut Food Bank’s president and CEO. “It also allows us to encourage more people to become involved in helping us promote healthy food choices at our local agencies and to the hungry individuals we serve every day.”
In September 2010, Connecticut Food Bank launched the operation of a Mobile Food Pantry that brings nutritious items such as fresh fruit, vegetables, whole grain goods and dairy products directly to individuals in need. The program is convenient for people in need who may not have the transportation or financial means to access resources for fresh, nutritious products. The Pantry makes monthly visits to neighborhoods in Bridgeport, Danbury, Middletown, New Haven, Plainfield, Torrington and Winsted.
In addition, Connecticut Food Bank operates a Kids’ BackPack Program that provides nutritious meals to children on weekends when they do not have access to school meals. The program currently serves 1,700 students from 65 schools in 15 school districts. Each Friday, the students discreetly receive two whole grain cereal products, two shelf-stable milks, two protein-based entrees, two healthy snacks, and two 100% juice boxes to take home.
National Nutrition Month® is an education and information campaign promoting nutrition, sponsored annually by the American Dietetic Association (ADA). The mission of the ADA “is to promote optimal nutrition and well-being for all people by advocating for its members.” ADA is the world’s largest organization of food and nutrition professionals, including more than 67,000 members of mostly registered dieticians and dietetic technicians, registered.