February is Heart Health Month. The food bank helps our community make heart healthy choices by providing a wide variety of fresh food options along with non-perishable items. Leafy greens are a great source of fiber, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, which contribute to heart health. Whole wheat pasta, breads and crackers have more fiber than white flour and is more filling. Tomatoes are year round staples for the food bank from local stores as well as from our on site seasonal gardens. They can be added to most dishes and add a boost to antioxidant levels. Grapes and berries are great for snacking and eating on the go. They are also great in salads, yogurts and low-fat cottage cheese. Fish, poultry, lean meats, eggs and dairy are items kept in stock on a regular basis. These are but a few of the healthy food choices available at the Orangevale Food Bank every week.
In addition to providing healthy food options to our neighbors in need, the food bank also provides many opportunities to volunteer, which research has proven to positively impact health. In an article and study by Everyday Health called “Volunteering is Good for the Heart”, study author Hannah Schreier, PhD was quoted saying “volunteers who reported the greatest increases in empathy, altruistic behavior and mental health were the ones who also saw the greatest improvements in their cardiovascular health,”, said in a press release.
We are always looking for new volunteers to join our team. If you’re interested in serving our neighbors while also improving your health, consider becoming a volunteer at the Orangevale Food Bank.