Kick-starting a New Year can be an exciting time with the promise of new beginnings and a fresh start. During this time, many individuals turn their focus to creating new, healthy habits. But did you know that many Feeding America food banks across the country have not only strived to provide food to those in need, but have focused on offering nutritious food as well?

Good nutrition is so important for good health, preventing diseases as well as healthy growth and development of children and teens. However, sometimes a food-insecure household isn’t always able to choose healthy food items. Many times, they are forced to cope by consuming cheaper foods that are often higher in calories, yet low in nutritional value.

An article listed on Feeding America’s website, Hunger and Health, says, “Reliance on less healthy foods can lead to toxic stress, poor nutrition, and chronic diet-related diseases such as diabetes and obesity. In turn, these chronic illnesses can worsen existing disabilities or other illnesses or result in inability to work and increased healthcare costs, which further restrict the household food budget. Once a person or family enters the cycle, it can be increasingly difficult to escape it.”

The Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank has recently hired a Nutrition Services Manager, Jordyn Barlow. She is responsible for carrying out programs focused on teaching food recipients how to eat healthy on a budget through cooking courses, grocery store tours and other educational tools. Jordyn is also helping with basic nutrition planning for the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank’s Farm Fresh and Adopt-A-Senior programs. Jordyn’s previous work experience has been focused on health education and nonprofit work.

“I am very excited about this role because it brings my degree background and passion for nonprofit work together in one,” she says. “This is a whole new position and venture for the Food Bank and I am excited to be part of the planning and creation of it.”

To learn more about donating healthy food items, visit brfoodbank.org/top-food-items-to-donate/ or call (225) 359-9940.