Thank you for the excellent Sept. 26 article Doctors ‘prescribe’ fresh produce with help from food banks. “Food is medicine” is indeed more than a slogan. Many of the most common diseases are diet related. Obesity, hypertension and diabetes are examples. Diabetes, once considered an adult disease, is now common among children and teens.
North Carolina’s Feeding America food banks recognize that for the families we serve obtaining fresh fruits and vegetables is difficult. That is why we are committed to increasing the amount of produce we obtain and distribute. Our Farm to Food Banks program is dedicated to working with farmers to obtain produce that might have otherwise gone unsold or unharvested, nearly 5 million additional pounds just last year.
About 40 percent of all food we serve is now fresh produce.
The article discusses specific programs with hospitals and clinics to tailor food to meet specific health issues. However, it is also crucial to make healthy foods available to all those in need. Well-nourished children grow and learn better. Well-nourished adults are more productive at work. Well-nourished seniors have fewer health issues and live longer. As a society, we all benefit from ensuring healthy food access to our neighbors in need.
Executive director, NC Association of Feeding America Food Banks