Published: September 2013

ID #: 68245

Journal: J Hunger Environ Nutr

Authors: Shimada T, Ross M, Campbell EC, Webb KL

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This article discusses the process a nonprofit policy advocacy organization (California Food Policy Advocates) and an academic research center (Center for Weight and Health at University of California, Berkeley) went through to develop policy and practice recommendations aimed at improving the nutritional quality of emergency foods. In February 2012, these two organizations convened a one-day meeting of diverse group of 20 key stakeholders with experience and expertise related to emergency food, such as representatives from Feeding America; the U.S. Department of Agriculture; food banks and food pantries; a national, non-profit, anti-hunger organization; a large corporate donor; and state-level organizations within California. The convening was informed by recent studies conducted by the Center for Weight and Health of food bank inventory trends; aspects of food bank culture, capacity, and practices relating to nutrition; and emergency food network (EFN) client preferences. As result of the convening, policy and practice recommendations were developed to establish nutrition standards for government-sourced emergency food and to review tax benefits for commercial food donations. Recommendations were also developed for EFN agencies to establish organizational nutrition guidelines, adopt metrics that incorporate the nutritional quality of distributed food, and advocate improvements to federal safety net programs.

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