By Kim Kostes
As backyard vegetable gardeners and farmers begin to prepare for the spring planting season, the Food Bank of Delaware encourages individuals to consider planting a few extra seeds for hungry Delawareans.
With one in four Delawareans depending on the food bank’s network of hunger-relief partners, the need for getting fresh produce into the community is needed now more than ever, especially as low-income Delawareans struggle with obesity issues.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2010 37.2 percent of Delaware adults making between $15,000-24,999 per year were considered obese (BMI 30.0-99.8) compared to only 25.6 percent of adults making more than $50,000.
“A new Gallup Poll indicates that Delaware has the second highest state obesity rate in the nation,” said Food Bank of Delaware Community Nutritionist Jackie Hennemuth. “Good nutrition is important for all income levels, but, unfortunately, to stretch food dollars, disadvantaged shoppers typically choose foods that are inexpensive, high in calories and lacking nutritional value. Produce donations to the food bank are critical in ensuring that low-income adults and children receive proper nutrition.”
Last year more than one million pounds of produce were donated to the food bank. This year the food bank hopes to exceed that amount. Produce donations that are most-needed include potatoes, tomatoes, watermelon, eggplant, peppers, corn, green beans, cantaloupe, greens, cucumbers, squash and carrots.
Individuals and farmers interested in donating surplus produce to the Food Bank of Delaware may contact Jim Weir, Operations Director, by emailing email@example.com or calling (302) 444-8073. For more information about fresh produce donations, please visit http://www.fbd.org/plant-a-row-for-the-hungry/.