Letter: Donate healthy foods to local pantries



I recently visited a local food pantry with my school and realized the issue of lack of healthy food choices for those in need.

Later, I did some research and discovered on health.gov that “low-income groups tend to rely on food(s) that are cheap and convenient to access but are often low in nutrients.” Furthermore, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2015, “more than 35 percent of the population in states with median household incomes below $45,000 were obese. In states with median incomes above $65,000, less than 25 percent of the population were obese.”

By donating healthier food, individuals are supporting better health outcomes for the recipient, reducing risks of chronic diseases and illnesses related to diets such as obesity and diabetes, and overall improving their physical and mental lives regardless of socioeconomic status.

I wish to encourage people to donate healthier food to food pantries. Instead of donating food with high salt, sugar and highly processed ingredients, switch to food with high protein, healthy fat and whole grains. For example, donate canned vegetables, canned fish and lean meat, peanut butter/nut butter, low-sodium, natural brands of canned soup/stew, canned or dried beans, whole grains, etc.

In addition, I plan to put up flyers around local food pantries to raise awareness of good eating habits to promote overall health.

Ellie Wang, Clay Middle School eighth-grade student