I am thrilled to be a part of this organization, The Inter-Faith Food Shuttle, as a new volunteer. The Inter-Faith Food Shuttle partners with over 200 agencies across seven counties to get healthy food into the hands of hungry people and has been fighting hunger in the Triangle for twenty years.
The Inter-Faith Food Shuttle
The Inter-Faith Food Shuttle has a focus on fruits and vegetables. They are working with diverse partners to expand access to and increase consumption of local and healthy food through development of community and container gardens and their own teaching and production farm sites.
The information below is a summary of information given to me by the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle’s Registered Dietitian, Katherine Andrew, MPH, RD, LDN and also from their website, www.foodshuttle.org.
Hunger and Children:
Approximately 17% of all children in the U.S are at risk of hunger and the number of children who went hungry in 2008 increased by 50%. Over 1 in 5 children in central NC face hunger every day.
While typical American families spend about 13% of their income on food, low income families tend to spend closer to 17%, limiting their food choices even more. The Inter-Faith Food Shuttle is making great efforts to combat the poor nutrition status for these impoverished kids and families through various nutrition, feeding, and gardening programs.
The Inter-Faith Food Shuttle offers a program called “BackPack Buddies” that fills backpacks with healthy foods for children enrolled in free or reduced school lunch programs to take home for the weekend. For more information on their BackPack Buddies Program, click here.
Food Recovery and Distribution
Food Recovery and and Distribution is a way to prevent an estimated 130 pounds of food per person from ending up in landfills each year. Food Recovery and Distribution is actually the first program the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle started. This program is run by picking up food that is still wholesome but would otherwise by thrown away from retailers and wholesalers such as grocery stores, big box stores, hotels, hospitals, caterers, corporate kitchens. One of their biggest contributors is the North Carolina State Farmers Market. After picking up this food, the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle safely transports it organizations such as shelters, outreach missions and soup kitchens to name a few.
Instead of donating specifically to a shelter or a soup kitchen, it can be more beneficial donating to an organization like the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle, which can help even more as they donate to all of those places serving those in need.
The Inter-Faith Food Shuttle now accepts an increased quantity of fresh produce and stabilizes over half-a-million pounds of perishable product. In 2007, the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle rescued approximately 5.3 million pounds of food thanks to 220 donors and 11 refrigerated trucks.
In 2008, the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle partnered with the national initiative, Operation Frontline launched by Share Our Strength in 1993, to offer nutrition and cooking education courses for kids, teens, adults, and families. Operation Frontline is a healthy cooking program that was established as a long-term solution to hunger.
These classes teach participants about nutrition, healthy meal preparation, food safety, menu planning skills, and grocery shopping on a limited budget. The materials are given to participants for them to keep, which is helpful for maintaining the skills they gain during the 6-week long course.
The Inter-Faith Food Shuttle’s Farms and Community Gardens Project
As mentioned above, the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle has been getting nutritious food in to the hands of hungry people across the Greater Triangle Area for twenty years. The Farm and Community Gardens Project continues this mission by creating local sources of fresh fruits and vegetables for under-served communities.
Local food, food that has not traveled, excels in taste and nutrition. The Farm and Community Gardens Project helps everyone have access to the best foods available.The Farm and Community Gardens Project does so much more:
- Gives people power over their food choices
- Builds and strengthens communities
- Creates opportunities for people to apply skills they learned in Operation Frontline Classes
- Teaches children and adults gardening skills and the importance of physical activity
For more information, please contact the Food Shuttle at 919.250.0043
How can you help?
You can help in many, many, MANY Ways! You can help by Donating HERE, Volunteer, Sponsor an OFL class by calling or emailing Katherine Andrews at 919-250-0043 or firstname.lastname@example.org or help fill the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle Wish List found HERE.
Please check out more of the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle’s Programs by Clicking Here
and also stay tuned for more information from the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle as I will be providing updates on here as well.