Study: Food Bank Donations in the United States

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With food insecurity projected to rise to ​over 50 million people by year’s end and food banks reporting an average 60% increase in demand, the need for healthier food banking has never been greater. Low-income populations hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic are especially vulnerable to food insecurity. ​Food insecurity is associated with preventable, diet-related diseases, including type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and hypertension, and, paradoxically, obesity.  

new study from the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) and the Lerner Center for Public Health Promotion at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health (JHSPH Lerner Center) examines how government policies shape the nutritional quality of food bank donations. We identified 42 federal policies spanning six categories that addressed food and beverage donations to food banks and found that none specifically addressed the nutritional quality of donations. This study highlights an opportunity for the federal government to improve the nutritional quality of donated foods and beverages.

The study has been published in a special issue of Nutrients on food policies and diet.