Pound Foolish

Friday, September 22, 2017

Pound Foolish

Food banks must reject measuring their impact by pounds of food distributed and instead promote access to nutritious food.

For nearly four decades, the food bank have provided a vital link between food and families in need. Today, more than 200 food banks across the United States distribute millions of tons of provisions to more than 46 million people, or more than 14 percent of the US population. These hubs supply food pantries, churches, and other charities with their offerings for hunger relief, and thereby shape the food ecosystem for low-income America.

Food banks have largely defined their challenge as lack of food. In response, we have collected large quantities—including junk food—distributed it, and measured our success by pounds of output. While bellies have been filled, we have missed a real opportunity to improve the diet and health of those we serve...

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