As part of National Nutrition Month, our Nutrition and Wellness team will be writing articles about various topics concerning health, nutrition and the efforts of the Atlanta Community Food Bank.
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Sarah, a current senior at South Forsyth High School, attended the 2014 Youth Summit on Hunger and Poverty at the Atlanta Community Food Bank (ACFB). Like all Youth Summit attendees, Sarah made a commitment to plan and complete a Hunger Fighting Action Step during the year following her participation with the Youth Summit. She decided to collect healthy snacks for kids for ACFB partner agency Meals by Grace. Even before the end of summer, she collected and donated over 750 snack servings from a neighborhood food drive.
We hear the calls of the health experts to improve our diets, get in better shape, and decrease our stress. We expect the promise for a healthy life to come quickly on the heels after making these changes, but what if you were unable to afford or access the healthy food that the experts recommend? Would that cause you stress? What if you were, or are, one of the 755,000 people who access food from a partner agency of the Atlanta Community Food Bank?
The first time I met Bill Bolling was six years ago. I was a teenager and I’d recently participated in the Food Bank’s first annual Youth Summit – a unique program that empowers local high schoolers to get involved in the fight against hunger. Each day during the Summit, my peers and I were challenged to consider the intersecting topics of hunger and poverty. We grappled with the how’s and why’s of these issues: What, we wondered, could possibly justify the inequalities we were witnessing? And why wasn’t more being done about it?
February, American Heart Month, is dedicated to raising awareness about heart disease and promoting healthy changes to improve heart health. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports heart disease as the leading cause of death in Georgia. It is important to adopt healthy dietary habits to promote heart health by increasing fiber and lowering sodium and saturated fat intake. According to the National Institutes of Health, normal cholesterol levels should be less than 100 mg/dL for LDL (“bad”) cholesterol, and 40 mg/dL or higher for HDL (“good”) cholesterol.
Eyes of the Beholder
As I stand under the Olympic Rings and look down the hill to the beginning of the Hunger Walk/Run each year, it appears as if a sea of humanity – black and white, young and old, rich and poor, every faith tradition, political persuasion and point of view – are merged into a moment in time in support of a common purpose. It’s an impression that stays in my memory throughout the year. As Plato once said “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” For me there is nothing more beautiful than Hunger Walk Day.
If you’re like me, the New Year already seems like a distant memory now, and we’re only a few weeks in. If you haven’t gotten around to doing some reflecting on the year ahead just yet, take heart. You’re not alone, as I’m just getting around to it myself. In doing so, I discovered there is plenty to be excited about in our year ahead as we work together to fight hunger. Here are four things that give me hope as we enter 2015.
More Georgians are eating more fresh produce.
Today, the James M. Cox Foundation announced it is providing the Atlanta Community Food Bank with a grant totaling $1,090,000 for efforts to establish and manage the Food Well Alliance. This new organization will help continue the ACFB’s efforts of providing more fresh products to its partner agencies by expanding access to locally-grown products and connecting stakeholders to help communities become more sustainable and healthy.
In honor of Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday and legacy, the Atlanta Community Food Bank is hosting the MLK Day YOUTH Essay Contest! Contestants must be between the ages of 8-17 to enter, and all entries are due on Monday, January 12 by noon. The 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners will be invited to read their essays at a special invitation only luncheon at ACFB on January, 19 from 11:30 am-1:00 pm.
Winners will also receive cool prizes and plenty of ACFB "Swag"! Please submit entries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Betty Dowling volunteers in our Kids In Need school supply store several days a week. After 37 years as an educator at the Georgia Tech College of Architecture, Dowling began to dedicate her time to volunteering. Since her first shift in 2013, Dowling has served as an essential team leader in our KIN program as a leader and managing the day-to-day tasks as part of the program. Here's her view on Kids In Need and volunteering.