The top priority of Loaves & Fishes Community Pantry’s strategic plan isto provide the broadest array possible of healthy and diverse food options.—Loaves & Fishes consulted with its Nutrition Advisory Council (NAC), comprised of nutritional experts and licensed dietitians, for advice to achieve this goal. With a client base transcending all ages and diverse cultures, nutritional considerations are no small challenge, and the NAC is tasked with ensuring that Loaves & Fishes’ clients receive well-balanced, healthy food options.
According to NAC chair, Toni Havala, M.S., R.D., L.D.N., “Low fat dairy alternatives, such as soy, are the primary sources of calcium and vitamin D in the American child’s diet. They also provide a valuable source of protein. Without these foods, it puts a child at risk for deficiencies and the associated health risks.” Thanks to a recent grant and additional private donations, a new refrigerated truck is now part of Loaves & Fishes’ food recovery vehicles, which will make it possible for Loaves & Fishes to substantially increase the amount of healthy lean proteins and produce it offers. “Families with limited resources often have to forgo these food groups to make ends meet,” Havala explains. “Having these foods available to pantry clients is such a wonderful opportunity and a boon for the health of the community.”
With the addition of a refrigerated truck, perishable products will now be safely and efficiently transported year round. Charlie Brooks, United Parcel Service (UPS) Region Operations Manager, who serves on the Loaves & Fishes board of directors, was instrumental in obtaining funding toward this critical expense. Additional support came from donors who contributed to the Truck Club, a targeted appeal.
“The purchase of this refrigerated vehicle realizes a long-held goal to allow Loaves & Fishes to access many more opportunities to receive healthy, perishable food items for our families,” said Charles P. McLimans, Executive Director/CEO of Loaves & Fishes. “This truck will help us increase capacity in providing the nutritious, fresh foods that are so popular with our clients and essential for their health