Getting proper nutrients through healthy food is important, but purchasing those pantry items can be difficult when on a limited to budget. To help those in need obtain foods that are low in sugar, salt and fat, CoxHealth is launching its 7th annual Pack the Pantries healthy food drive from Nov. 1-16, and the community is invited to participate.
“Good nutrition is essential for growth, development, health, and well-being in all stages of life,” says Heather Coulter, CoxHealth’s director of Community Health Improvement. “Unfortunately, access to healthy food is simply out of reach for some people. The annual Pack the Pantries healthy food drive provides an opportunity to help others in the community decrease their risk of food-related health challenges such as obesity, diabetes, and other preventable conditions.”
Springfield’s donations benefit Crosslines, a local food pantry that serves an average of 3,600 Ozarkers every month.
“We are serving increasing numbers of people in this area, and it’s crucial for us to have healthy options,” says Tom Faulkner, director of Crosslines. “The community’s support is something we’re grateful and excited to have, since ultimately their help directly supports the health of our neighbors.”
Some suggested items include no-sugar-added applesauce, 100-percent-fruit cups, low-sodium or no-salt-added canned vegetables, reduced-sodium spaghetti sauce, tomato paste, brown rice, whole-wheat noodles, canned chicken and dried beans.
In Springfield, public donation bins are located at the north and West Pavilion entrances of Cox South, and at The Meyer Center.
Food donated at Cox Branson will be sent to pantries operated by Christian Action Ministries, Cox Monett’s goes to Monett Community Kitchen and donations at Cox Barton County benefit Good Samaritan Shop. Additionally, food collected in area clinics will benefit a variety of local charities.