Background and the challenge.
The nearly 40 million clients of this nation’s food pantries suffer elevated rates of obesity, diabetes, cardio-vascular disease, and other diet-related conditions. Numerous studies have shown that increased consumption of fresh produce helps fight chronic diseases. Unfortunately, many clients of pantries do not know how to prepare vegetables in nutritious, varied, and appealing ways. They also need, and want to acquire other food management skills for healthier eating.
Mobile phone app:
In response to these gaps in understanding, we have created an app with easy-to-use recipes and food information that we have tested for relevance to people’s needs. This tool has grown out of our award-winning project that has dramatically expanded the amount of fresh fruits and vegetables reaching low-income people through the nation’s 33,000 community food pantries. Our phone app offers two kinds of content that each pantry client customizes to his or her situation and interests.
First, VeggieBooks enable a food recipient to obtain recipes and food-use tips about fresh vegetables currently available at his or her pantry. A recipient decides which kinds of recipes and tips he or she wants, from among hundreds of specially-designed recipes and ideas.
Second, a section called SecretsBooks invites app users to browse more than 80 illustrated and concrete, no-cost ideas for limiting fats and sugar in the diet, establishing a warm atmosphere at meals, involving children in meal preparations, shopping for groceries in bargain-conscious ways, and other themes we have pre-tested for interest.
App users can get any content they select printed immediately at their pantry as well as saved on the phone.