Teaching Healthy Eating
Fighting Hunger. Feeding Hope. Since 1971. The 2nd Harvest Food Bank Mission is alive and well. They are currently building a new space called ‘The Kitchen.’ It is a teaching kitchen to give the people they serve even more resources to feed themselves well. The facility is being constructed in part of the existing 2nd Harvest warehouse space, and is “designed to promote
health and wellness in our community.” Many generous donations of resources and equipment have kept the cost of the project low. At this point, $500,000 of the $1 Million to complete ‘The Kitchen’ has been raised. They are accepting contributions for the remaining half now – you can donate here and dedicate your funds to this specific project at the bottom of the form, if you wish.
2nd Harvest already does impressive work in our area, serving 21 counties in Eastern Washington & Northern Idaho. Last year, they worked with their partners to distribute 23.8 million pounds of food to a network of 250 neighborhood food banks and meal centers. ‘The Kitchen’s’ programs will enhance those efforts, and help their food donations be more valuable. Many of the items currently distributed require cooking. With fewer and fewer people in our fast-food culture knowing how to cook from scratch, these donations risk going to waste. The vital nutrition they provide also goes by the wayside. When the often less nutritious packaged and processed foods become the default dinner, it perpetuates the cycle of malnutrition and poor health that plagues many of the impoverished in our communities. Feeding America, an umbrella organization that networks and supports food banks in the United States, produced a video – Illuminating the Intersection of Hunger & Health – that describes this concerning reality.
‘The Kitchen’ will focus its programming on nutrition literacy and cooking education for the people they serve. They will host classes that teach participants some easy, healthy and reliable ways to prepare some of the most common raw ingredients they distribute. The skills are important. A quick tour of 2nd Harvest makes it readily apparent that generous donations from area groceries and food distributors don’t supply the full need for nutrition for our most at-risk
populations. Stacks of donuts and cannibas drink stood alongside boxes of beautiful baby Yukon potatoes. A clear message that we need to make it easier for people to choose the potatoes, and prepare them in way that is good for them.
Recently, 2nd Harvest hosted a walk-through of the project with some of its Board members and local contributors. Representatives from Numerica Credit Union, NW Farm Credit Services, and Stacey Cowles spoke about the importance of ‘The Kitchen’ to better serve the hungry in our area. Chef Charlie White, from the Inland NW Culinary Academy, transformed some of the baby Yukons into a delicious and simple appetizer to showcase the great products being donated.
‘The Kitchen’ project is on track to be completed soon. The sooner the better as we enter the season of fresh, nutritious produce. They need our help. Individuals can donate on the web site. Or by purchasing locally roasted Indaba Coffee, which donates to 2nd Harvest for every bag sold. Local businesses are being encouraged to help by participating in the online Food Frenzy Fundraising challenge, June 8th-26th.
All donations will help Second Harvest feed hungry families, children and seniors.