General Information: (434) 654-7000 OR 1-800-633-6353
It is hard to believe but thousands of people in our area, young and old, do not have enough food. They experience hunger almost every day. There are many reasons that they don’t have enough money for food, but the bottom line is that they must make decisions between buying food or paying for their medicines or fuel or rent. The Blue Ridge Area Food Bank and the Charlottesville Albemarle Emergency Food Bank provide food for many families each month throughout the year.
There are many area agencies that benefit from our Food Banks: food pantries and soup kitchens, schools and churches, and other nonprofit groups.
The Blue Ridge Area Food Bank has the Back Pack program – it provides at-risk elementary school children with a backpack of food for the weekend and over holidays. The Kids Café program provides nutritious snacks in after-school programs for at-risk kids. And there is a summer feeding program as well.
Non-perishable donations are always welcome whenever there is the opportunity to donate. This means foods that are canned, boxed or in jars, and are safe to store outside of a refrigerator. And, be sure that they have NOT expired.
Nonperishable items for food banks: jars of nut butter, pasta sauce, cans of tuna fish and salmon, light-packed canned fruits and low-sodium vegetables; bags of rice and dried beans; boxes of whole-grain pasta and cereals.
Yes, May is Stroke Awareness Month, and not smoking, maintaining a lean weight, leading an active life and choosing a more plant-based diet will reduce your risk for strokes. But a study reported in the professional journal Stroke reminds us of the importance of keeping sodium intake down.
The Northern Manhattan Project examined the diets of >2600 participants for more than 10 years. And ta-da…
the higher the sodium intake, the greater the risk for having a stroke.
More study results:
Those study participants who had the highest sodium intake …
Bottom line: Cut your sodium intake to keep your blood pressure in good control and reduce your risk for having a stroke!
Kitchen tips to reduce sodium:
You CAN save money on your weekly food budget without compromising on nutritional quality.
Tip #1: Eat in, not out. Saving just $10/week adds up over the course of the year! Not only is this a great way to limit spending, but you can control the sodium and fat content of your meals.
Tip #2: Shop with a list – and stick to it! Impulse buying is costly. Use coupons and store discount cards. Nothing better than an item on sale AND having a coupon for it.
Tip #3: Buy generic or store brand products. Purchase in bulk, but only if the extra food will not go to waste.
Tip #4: Whenever possible, buy fresh produce that is in season or on sale. Right now citrus fruits and winter squash are a reasonable price.
Tip #5: Plan meals with less meat, and more beans, rice, potatoes and pasta. Stick to unprocessed foods, like bags of rice rather than boxes of seasoned rice – it’s cheaper and (bonus!) has no sodium.
This delicious vegetarian rice-cabbage salad has flavor, a homemade dressing, and uses whole fresh vegetables, rather than pre-cut or pre-shredded. The full recipe is at www.marthajefferson.org; click on Healthy Bites with Rita Smith.
Sugar… hmm, we all would probably say that we like sugar and sugar-containing foods. But USDA research of dietary habits of Americans indicates that added sugar intake is on the rise. It is estimated that 15% of calories come from added sugar – or about 21 teaspoons ( 360 calories/day). The primary source of added sugar is sugar-sweetened carbonated beverages and energy or sorts drinks.
High added sugar intake may be associated with:
Nutrition label and ingredient lookout:
The new 2010 American Heart Association Added Sugar Guidelines:
It will be pretty much impossible to completely eliminate added sugars – you will have to be very vigilant with looking at the nutrition and ingredients labels on food products.
Check out the sugar content – it will be listed in grams. Try to keep foods to 5 grams of added sugar or less per serving. For example, a serving of Raisin Bran has 17 grams of sugar but a serving of Cheerios has only 1 grams of sugar. What a difference!!
Do not worry about the natural sugars in fruits, milk, plain yogurt and certain vegetables (carrots and beets). These are very healthy foods that contain loads of good nutrition.
45,000. That is the number of food items in a typical grocery store. No wonder we dread those shopping trips. So much to sift through, especially if we are trying to make healthy choices. Read the rest of this entry…
Cutting out salt in recipes is great, but beware of the hidden sodium and salt in processed and convenience foods. For example, one packet of Ramen noodles = 1,600 mg sodium! Make dishes from scratch when you can, relying on herbs and spices for flavoring. Read the rest of this entry…