The Megan Furth Harvest Pantry
The Megan Furth Harvest Pantry works to reduce childhood anemia in low-income populations through a weekly mobile food distribution and nutrition education program. The program distributes fresh fruit and vegetables rich in iron and Vitamin C to low-income families with preschool-aged children (ages 0-5).
At each distribution, a short nutrition lesson teaches families the importance of serving healthy iron-rich fruits and vegetables as part of a balanced diet. Speedway Children's Charities helps fund this program, which has been in operation for four years . Each week the pantry travels to nine low-income neighborhoods in the county identified as having high rates of anemia.
In the last 7 months from July 2009 through January 2010, the Harvest Pantry has distributed 540,889 pounds of fresh produce and other staple food items including beans, rice, tomato sauce, ground beef, chicken breasts, and tortillas.
The Harvest Pantry is currently averaging 684 families with 727 pre-school children served each week. Bilingual nutrition lessons have taught the importance of good nutrition and physical activity, how to read a label, how to increase iron intake by cooking in an iron skillet and have reinforced these lessons with recipes, and nutrition related incentives. We expect to reach all our targeted goals of service and poundage at the completion of this fiscal year.