With nutri­tious meals essen­tial to a healthy life, the Auen Foun­da­tion is pro­vid­ing a $50,000 grant to FIND Food Bank in sup­port of its sig­na­ture pro­gram, Project Pro­duce. The pro­gram pro­vides fresh fruits and veg­eta­bles to local res­i­dents in need of food assistance.

There is a vital rela­tion­ship between healthy eat­ing and a person’s well-being,” said Lisa Hous­ton, Pres­i­dent and CEO of FIND (Food in Need of Dis­tri­b­u­tion). “This gen­er­ous gift from the Auen Foun­da­tion will help deliv­er healthy, nutri­tious fruits and veg­eta­bles to our area’s seniors and oth­ers in need. Food secu­ri­ty is essen­tial to a person’s phys­i­cal and men­tal health. Dona­tions to FIND are tru­ly life-chang­ing and life-improving.”

The Auen Foun­da­tion gift will pro­vide approx­i­mate­ly 416,000 pounds of fresh pro­duce through­out 2016. FIND col­lects and stores donat­ed food and works with 100+ oth­er com­mu­ni­ty-based part­ners that dis­trib­ute food direct­ly to res­i­dents through neigh­bor­hood pantries, soup kitchens, low-income hous­ing com­mu­ni­ties, and home­less shel­ters. Through Project Pro­duce, FIND sup­ports part­ners that serve our senior res­i­dents via (free!) farm­ers’ mar­kets that encour­age par­tic­i­pants to make their own healthy selections.

Fresh pro­duce is a life­line for peo­ple – espe­cial­ly seniors – who need nutri­tious food to con­tribute to their over­all qual­i­ty of life,” said Catharine Reed, Senior Pro­gram Offi­cer of the Auen Foundation.

Not wor­ry­ing about where a next meal will come from allows peo­ple to focus on oth­er impor­tant aspects of life, and means they will not have to choose between buy­ing med­ica­tion or healthy food,” said Sher­rie Auen, Pro­gram Direc­tor of the Auen Foundation.

Draw­ing on the USDA’s “My Plate” rec­om­men­da­tions, Project Pro­duce ensures that at least half of the food dis­trib­uted through FIND is in the form of fresh fruits and vegetables.

Healthy food, includ­ing fresh pro­duce, comes at a sig­nif­i­cant cost,” said Hous­ton. “That’s why com­mu­ni­ty sup­port, like that of the Auen Foun­da­tion, is so important.”

FIND and its part­ner agen­cies dis­trib­ute 10+ mil­lion pounds of food annu­al­ly to an aver­age 90,000 peo­ple each month. About 6 mil­lion pounds of the annu­al dis­tri­b­u­tion is high­ly per­ish­able fresh pro­duce, adding to a high cost of cold stor­age and reli­able trans­porta­tion, which the Auen Foun­da­tion grant will help offset.

For more infor­ma­tion about FIND Food Bank, locat­ed in Indio, vis­it FINDFoodBank.org or call 760–775-3663.

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