HEALTHY FOOD FOR AREA FAMILIES.
Food insecurity is more than feeling hungry. Even when food is available, it often doesn’t include the nutrients found in fruits and vegetables, which are key to a healthy diet. Consuming fresh produce helps prevent deadly chronic diseases and contributes to overall health and wellness. After the Harvest is improving the way our hungry neighbors are able to feed their families with the fresh, nutritious produce they need.
What happens without healthy foods to eat?
For low-income people in our region, healthy eating is challenging. Many poor neighborhoods and rural areas are “food deserts” lacking grocery stores and markets. As a matter of fact, 78% of members of households going to area agencies report buying the cheapest food available, regardless of its nutritional value. High-calorie, low-nutrition foods are relatively inexpensive, so it’s not unusual for hungry people to also be overweight. There are many problems associated with poor nutrition:
Hunger contributes to poor health, lower productivity and higher medical costs
Children are sick more often and have trouble learning in school
The rate of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, depression and fatigue are more common in adults with poor nutrition
Among households that seek emergency food aid in our region:
29% have at least one member in poor health
32% have at least one member with diabetes
58% have at least one member with high blood pressure
GOOD NUTRITION BY THE POUND.
After the Harvest is working hard to make more fresh produce available to hungry people throughout the Greater Kansas City area. We distribute over 70 varieties of fruits and vegetables including potatoes, cucumbers, tomatoes, cabbage, carrots, melon, blackberries, chard, corn and many more.
55% of people across the country identify fresh fruits and vegetables as the foods they desire most, but receive least, from their food agency.
Every day, After the Harvest receives requests for more produce from area food pantries, shelters and community kitchens. That’s why we constantly try to expand our gleaning program and continue fundraising to bring in more semi-truckloads of rescued produce, each containing about 42,000 pounds.
Note: Statistics are based on Harvesters–The Community Food Network’s 26-county service area. Harvesters distributes After the Harvest’s produce via our gleaning and truckload programs to agencies within their service area. After the Harvest also delivers directly to agencies via our gleaning program.
–From “Hunger in America 2014”, Feeding America’s largest and most recent comprehensive study of hunger in our region and the nation.