March is National Nutrition Month and Minnesota FoodShare Month. It is appropriate that we recognize the importance of nutrition along with food donations for the hungry. Nutrition is the process of absorption of nutrients that the body needs be healthy and grow. Without food there is no nutrition and certainly results in poor health.
In north central Minnesota, one in five children are food insecure. They live in homes where resources are inadequate to meet basic needs and their food runs out before there is money to buy more. Children who are hungry have more health problems and lower grades than children who have enough food. Adults and seniors who are hungry also are more likely to be in poor health, resulting in higher health care costs. Our community is negatively impacted when people are hungry.
Increasing access to nutritious food for everyone is critical to a healthy community. There are many ways we can accomplish this. The national school breakfast and lunch programs are a lifeline for children in low income households. Improving the nutritional quality of food and making school breakfast available at every school would provide healthy meals for children who may not get enough to eat at home.
For those who don’t have enough food in the home, food shelves and soup kitchens help fill the gap. Every March, food shelves across the state join together for a food and fund drive to raise awareness of hunger in every community and encourage donations that will help meet the need for hunger relief on the local level. Every dollar donated can provide five meals for a child, senior or struggling adult in your home town. Do your part to help provide nutrition, food and hope to people in need.