WINCHESTER — Healthy Choices is a new initiative of Community Food Share to provide more nutritious food to people who use their services.
The process began with assistance from Jessica Lefebvre, a Public Health Dietitian at the Eastern Ontario Health Unit. Lefebvre did a complete review of the food distributed by Community Food Share. She then proposed a number of changes to ensure that the five-day allocation of food families receive each month meets the nutritional requirements as outlined in Canada’s Food Guide.
“We have made a commitment to use our food dollars to purchase healthier items in greater quantities such as milk, cheese, whole wheat bread, yogurt, fruits and vegetables,” says Ian McKelvie, the Administrator at Community Food Share. “It’s important that we meet the nutritional needs of our families because everyone deserves healthy and nutritious food. One way of doing this is by shifting our investments in food to these items. As another example, we are also now able to offer locally produced yogurt through a generous arrangement with Biemond Upper Canada Creamery.”
The new food allocation guidelines were introduced at both the Morrisburg and Winchester locations over the last few weeks.
“Our clients are extremely grateful and appreciative of the new Healthy Choices model,” says Amy Saunders, Community Food Share’s Coordinator in Morrisburg. “One client in particular was overwhelmed with the options she now had.”
Healthy Choices is part of a transition that started last year when clients were given the opportunity to select their own food – like in an actual grocery store. Prior to this change, they were unable to see what was available and make their own choices. Now they are more in control of what food they need.
With Healthy Choices, Community Food Share shows its ongoing commitment to helping the most vulnerable in our community.
Community Food Share is open three days-a-week at locations in Morrisburg and Winchester. There are also one day-a-week Food Cupboards in Finch and Crysler. Approximately 460 individuals from over 150 households use the organization’s emergency food services every month.
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