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Banking on Health

Improving beverage & nutrition standards in California food banks

Fact Sheet
Food & Beverages

Food banks play a critical role in maintaining and improving the health of the nation’s most vulnerable individuals and families.

Following the economic recession of the late 2000s, they have become an important resource for an increasing number of Americans. In California, for example, over one-third of adults experience food insecurity. Local food banks are important allies for health departments because their services directly affect the health of low-income individuals. Recognizing that their clients face a higher-than-average risk for diet-related chronic disease, many food banks are starting to adopt nutrition standards for the beverages and foods they distribute.

To support these efforts, CA4Health, in collaboration with ChangeLab Solutions, has developed this resource for public health departments that want to partner with food banks to improve the health of food-insecure families and individuals. This fact sheet, Banking on Health, provides an overview of the role of food banks and how they operate. It also describes why it’s important to develop guidelines for the nutritional quality of foods and beverages served at food banks, and it outlines the common elements of strong healthy beverage and nutrition standards.

To learn more about healthy nutrition and beverage standards in food banks check out the The Nutrition Policy Institute at the University of California at Berkeley and The PHI/Project LEAN Beverage Standards.

CA4Health is the Public Health Institute’s Community Transformation Grant.