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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