Suzi is a nutrition educator in Brevard County. As part of her job, she visits public schools to teach kids about how important it is to eat the right foods every day. One evening, as she was filling up her car with gasoline, Suzi was approached by a woman she had never met before.
The woman pointed to a youngster in a nearby vehicle, and said “My daughter just pointed you out as the woman who came to teach her class at school today,
is that right?” Suzi replied that it was. “My daughter also said that to be healthy, she needed to fill up half her plate with fruits and vegetables, is that right too?” said the woman.
Suzi was pleased that the girl had gotten the message she was trying to get through, and replied ‘Oh, yes!” with pride.
Suddenly she noticed the mother tearing up, and unable to speak. After a minute, the woman was able to explain that she works two jobs, and still struggles to provide enough food for her family. She said that she knows fruits and vegetables are best for ‘her babies,’ but that the cost of adding them into the family’s meager diet was usually just too much.
The mother related how she struggled to simply meet the family’s calorie need, let alone the nutritional requirements of a healthy diet. Suzi relates that it was all she could do to keep from crying herself. She explained to the mom that ‘trying’ is really the best that anyone can do. She mentioned that frozen fruits and veggies can sometimes be cheaper than fresh, and just as nutritious. The mom was also reminded to stress to her kids the importance of eating the produce that was served to them at school through the free breakfast and lunch programs.
After a few more tips on making soup from frozen veggies, Suzi was on her way back home. As she drove, she thought how brave the mother had been to approach a stranger on behalf of helping her children eat better. She hoped that her messages had been encouraging, and felt sad that so many little people are
living without the kinds of food they need to grow and thrive.
At Second Harvest Food Bank, we’re moving more pounds of fresh produce than at any other time in our history. Still, we’ve reached a point where our ability to provide more of these highly nutritious products to the community has reached its end. We’re simply not able to take any more fruits and vegetables in our current facility’s cooler and freezer capacity. Sadly, more than two million pounds of available fresh produce were turned away last year due to lack of
For this reason, Second Harvest Food Bank is pressing on with it’s Building Solutions to Hunger capital campaign. A new, 100,000 square foot facility is planned, that will ensure no more turned away products for decades to come. For more information, please visit www.showmercynow.org