Wonderful Works: Nourishing Those in Need with SuperFoodsDrive.com
I'm grateful to the wonderful Ruthi Solari for today's guest post on her generous project, the SuperFood Drive -- a remarkable and inspiring example of what one woman can do to make a difference in so many people's lives.
By Ruthi Solari, Founder, Super Food Drive
It began at Food as Medicine (FAM) 2009. Listening to physicians and health professionals speak about the importance of using food as medicine, I couldn’t help but think about individuals who didn’t have access to healthy food. What happens when someone wants to be healthy, but the only food available actually promotes disease?!
As I took notes on the health benefits of superfoods, a simple idea was born: use food drives to collect healthy food instead of processed junk. Encourage the donation of more nutritious versions of shelf stable items (brown rice instead of white rice, black beans instead of beans refried in lard, fruit in its own juice instead of high fructose corn syrup, tuna instead of spam).
And so it began. It wasn’t rocket science, but the idea was ahead of its time and not immediately welcomed into the world of hunger relief – but the idea quickly started to take root within our FAM community. We worked together to grow the idea into a movement from which the SuperFood Drive was born. It’s mission: to provide nutrient-dense food and nutrition education to neighbors in need. Through small changes, our goal is to ensure that individuals facing food insecurity have access to nutritious food items and know how to turn them into easy, delicious and nutritious meals for themselves and their families.
Over the past 5 years, the SuperFood Drive has been instrumental in sharing food items, nutritional know-how and Giving the Gift of Health through:
- SuperFood Drive ambassadors, who hosted healthy food drives in cities and states across the U.S. and collected well over 100,000 pounds of super nutritious non-perishable food items
- Schools and afterschool programs which engaged over 25,000 youth as leaders for our SuperKids healthy hunger relief service learning program
- SuperFood Drive leaders who shared our healthy hunger relief educational materials, resources and tool kits with food banks, food pantries and public health professionals at local, national and international conferences.
SuperFood Drive believes that a healthier America is possible. We envision the transition from hunger relief to health promotion. We believe we can solve the problems of food insecurity and obesity in the United States. To see this come true, we must start by ensuring all people have access to healthy food. Healthy food = healthy individuals = healthy communities. The opposite of hungry is not full; it is healthy.
Learn more: www.superfooddrive.org