Published: September 2013

ID #: 68245

Journal: J Hunger Environ Nutr

Authors: Campbell EC, Ross M, Webb KL

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This paper highlights the results of a national online survey of 137 U.S. food banks and qualitative interviews with senior staff at six California food banks in 2011 regarding the current state of food banks’ nutrition-related organizational culture, capacity, and practices. Researchers found that the majority of U.S. food banks reported having a substantial level of commitment to nutrition. Although most reported a medium or high commitment to nutrition, only 39 percent of food banks reported currently having some type of organizational nutrition policy or guidelines. Staff at four of the California food banks reported actively working to prepare written nutrition policies and discussed the challenges they are encountering in this undertaking. Fresh produce was type of food cited most often by food banks as being included in their nutrition policies or guidelines, while less than one-third reported having a policy or guidelines to decrease foods or beverages of minimal nutritional value (e.g., sugar-sweetened beverages, snacks, and processed meals). Although many food banks indicated they have been successful at increasing their staff, infrastructure, and funding capacity for distribution of more healthful foods, they still face challenges in procuring, handling, and monitoring the quantity of more nutritious foods.

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