Nutrition & Recipes
Providing Health Options to the Community
Fresh produce is one of the best ways to protect our bodies against disease and obesity, but for many of our clients, fresh produce can be out of reach. This is why the Greater Cleveland Food Bank distributed over 21 million pounds of produce in 2019. We also provide simple recipes to accompany many of the produce items, especially items that may be unfamiliar to clients such as beets, eggplants, and turnips.
At the GCFB, we produce around 7,000 meals for low-income children and seniors daily. We’ve worked hard to make these meals packed with valuable nutrients and eliminated many sources of unhealthy ingredients. We have lowered the sodium of our gravies and sauces, switched to whole wheat pastas, and ditched the deep fryers. We feel these changes will have a great impact on the health of those who are receiving these meals.
We are constantly striving to make the food we serve as healthy as possible. We have an aggressive goal of making 80 percent of all the food we serve be nutritious. This means we are constantly seeking products lower in sodium, saturated fats, cholesterol and trans fats. By replacing these unhealthier products with more nutrient-dense ones, we are working to eliminate many of the health disparities found in low-income communities. To evaluate our efforts, we use a software system that analyzes the nutritional values of our food.
Educating our Partnering Agencies
Our Nutrition Specialist, a Registered Dietitian, hosts a variety of nutrition-focused agency & client workshops, presentations, and cooking demonstrations using simple, affordable recipes. Member agencies and programs have access to our portal, which provides them with nutrition education information they can pass on to their clients. These handouts range from “Keeping your Heart Healthy” to “15 of the Healthiest Foods for under $1 Per Serving."
Currently we contract with five nutrition educators, who work diligently to provide weekly 1-hour nutrition education lessons at our Kids Café and School Market afterschool programs, and senior markets, within our service territory. These education lessons focus on teaching the importance of eating a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and healthy proteins. Our educators also teach how to make simple, healthy meals they can make at home. With proper nutrition education and access to nutrient-dense foods, our clients can learn how to live healthier lives.