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Food bank to offer healthier choices

Food to be sorted sits on a conveyor belt at the Capital Area Food Bank warehouse on Puerto Rico Avenue in D.C. on October 9, 2013. (WTOP/Hank Silverberg)

WASHINGTON — The Capital Area Food Bank is working to cut the cord on processed foods.

“We’ll no longer be taking sheet cakes, we’ll no longer be taking full-calorie sodas,” said President and CEO Nancy Roman. “As of September we will [also] no longer be taking leftover holiday candy.”

Those types of donations come from the many area grocery stores working with the food bank that include Giant, Shoppers, Safeway, Whole Foods and Harris Teeter.

“Our retail partners are fantastic,” Roman said. “I single out Giant and Shoppers because they’re the two who’ve gone first in working with us to sort out this processed food — which is hard.”

Under the Retailers for Wellness program, Giant is:

  • Increasing donations of high protein foods
  • Encouraging people to donate healthier foods
  • Sorting to remove candy, cakes, and pies from donations
  • Pairing Food Bank recipe cards and produce in four pilot stores
  • Preparing for people to purchase to donate boxes of healthy choices

The effort could have a significant impact considering how many area people the food bank serves.

“Twelve percent of the entire region. And that’s a sad statistic, but it’s the fact,” Roman said.

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