Foodshare Ups Commitment to Healthier Young People, Communities

Foodshare has signed a three-year commitment with the Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA),  a national nonpartisan nonprofit led by some of the most respected health and childhood obesity experts in the country, along with health advocates such as former First Lady Michelle Obama and U.S. Senators Bill Frist and Cory Booker. Earlier this month, Foodshare was recognized as a new healthy Food Assistant Partner at the 2018 PHA Summit in Washington, DC. The program “elevates and accelerates the work of food banks and large-scale food pantries committed to addressing hunger and malnutrition,” according to PHA.   

At the organization’s annual Summit in 2018, “we were thrilled to welcome Foodshare as one of several new partners in this program.”  More than 15 million U.S. children live in “food insecure” households, according to PHA.

Dr. Katie Martin, the nonprofit’s Chief Strategy Officer, represented Foodshare at the Summit.  In a recent article that she co-authored, Martin pointed out “food pantries have significant potential to promote better nutrition for the communities they serve,” adding that “recent national data show that 63 percent of households who visit food pantries acquire food through the charitable food system on a regular basis to help with their monthly food budget.”

As part of the commitment, Foodshare has agreed to:

  • Use a nutrition stoplight system to rank the nutritional quality of food in our inventory;
  • Increase the amount of nutritious food and beverage distributed through our network;
  • Increase the demand for healthy food and multiply its impact with promotional materials.

“This is an exciting opportunity for all of us at Foodshare. More produce and healthier options: that’s the future of food banking,” said Jason Jakubowski, President and CEO of Foodshare.

Foodshare is the regional food bank serving Connecticut’s Hartford and Tolland counties, where 121,000 people struggle with hunger. As a PHA partner, Foodshare will increase supply and foster demand for healthier options in several ways, such as evaluating the nutritional quality of at least 50 percent of the food in its inventory, increasing the amount of nutritious food and beverages it distributes, and incentivizing the organizations it works with to select more nutritious foods.

Foodshare joins ten other partner food banks from across the country, as well as Feeding America, in this national partnership. Created in 2010 with the goal of ending the national epidemic of childhood obesity within a generation, PHA’s strategy rests on transforming the marketplace, so that the healthy choice becomes the easy choice for American families.