School Food Pantry

SFP 182x178Some children wish for dolls and wagons, and some children wish for games and gadgets. The children we see at the Fredericksburg Area Food Bank wish for food.

Having food to eat shouldn’t be anyone’s wish, but it is. Childhood hunger exists in our communities. Many children rely on school breakfast and lunch programs for their only meals. They come home to a literally bare cupboard. These children go to bed night after night with their stomachs aching from hunger. We’re working with local schools and youth programs to help put an end to child hunger in our community. You can help simply by voting for the Fredericksburg Area Food Bank everyday on the Walmart Fighting Hunger Together App on Facebook.

The mission of the School Food Pantry program is to help alleviate child hunger for families in crisis. School-based pantries are located on the grounds of a school to provide a more readily accessible source of  food assistance to students and their families.

Hunger Has a Cure

Food Lion Launches “Hunger Has a Cure” Campaign to Benefit Feeding America and It’s Local Food Banks

FoodLionSAILSBURY, NC – Food Lion launches its “Hunger Has a Cure” campaign today to support Feeding America® and its network of local food banks. The two-week campaign, which allows customers to donate in $1 or $3 increments at the register, runs through April 16 and will help feed local families in need.

“We know that it’s difficult for some families to provide food during the summer, especially since it’s a time when food donations typically drop while hunger needs increase,” said Sherrii Webb, manager of community relations for Food Lion. “Funds raised through this two-week ‘Hunger Has a Cure’ campaign will provide critical food assistance for local families in need.”

Customers can support the “Hunger Has a Cure” campaign by adding a monetary donation of their choice to their total grocery bill at the register. These funds will then be donated to Feeding America®, which is able to help provide eight meals per every $1 donated. The success of the campaign is based on the amount of donations raised by customers at the register and has the potential to impact more than 40 Feeding America local food banks that serve participating Food Lion communities.

Through efforts such as this, Food Lion raises community awareness of hunger needs, funding for food banks and contributes more than 27 million pounds of food donations annually to Feeding America®.

Food Lion serves as a strong corporate citizen in the communities in which the company operates. Hunger relief is a primary fucus as Food Lion assists the community through food donations, foundation giving and corporate campaigns.

Last year, Food Lion’s “Hunger Has a Cure” campaign donated more than $650,000 and 1.1 million pounds of food to help families seeking food assistance through the Feeding America network.

About Food Lion
Food Lion, based in Salisbury, NC, is a subsidiary of Delhaize America, the US division of Brussels-based Delhaize Group (NYSE: DEG) and operates more than 1,100 supermarkets. The company employs approximately 57,000 associates delivering quality products, low prices and service to customers in 10 Southeastern and Mid-Atlantic states. For more information visit

About Feeding America
Feeding America provides low-income individuals and families with the fuel to survive and even thrive. As the nation’s leading domestic hunger-relief charity, our network members supply food to more than 37 million Americans each year, including 14 million children and 3 million seniors. Serving the entire United States, more than 200 member food banks support 61,000 agencies that address hunger in all of its forms. For more information on how you can fight hunger in your community and across the country, visit Find us Facebook at or follow our news on Twitter at

Fighting Hunger Together

Exciting news – we are up for a Walmart grant and you can help us win!

As part of their Fighting Hunger Together initiative, Walmart is giving out $3 million in grants for the most innovative and effective programs that help alleviate child hunger. The Fredericksburg Area Food Bank is in the running to win one of 100 grants, but we need your help to win!

The more votes we can get, the better chance we have of winning a $45,000 grant from Walmart. The funds will be used to support out School Food Pantry Program.

Here’s how it works:

Now through April 30, go to our Facebook Voting Page to vote for our project. You can vote once a day, so please vote as often as you can.

Funding for child hunger programs is especially critical considering the need that exists. Here in our community, there are an estimated 11,700 children who struggle with hunger. The Walmart grant would go a long way to helping ensure that all children have access to the food they need to thrive.

Thanks again for all your support!

13 Health Tips For 2013

Dedicate yourself to a healthy lifestyle in 2013 with these food, nutrition and exercise tips.

  1. Eat Breakfast
    NNM2013 012There’s no better way to start your morning than with a healthy breakfast. Include lean protein, whole grains, fruits and vegetables. Try oatmeal cooked with low-fat milk, sliced almonds and berries, or top a toaster waffle with low-fat yogurt and fruit.
  2. Make Half Your Plate Fruits and Vegetables
    Fruits and veggies add color, flavor and texture plus vitamins, minerals and fiber to your plate. Make 2 cups of fruit and 2 1/2 cups of vegetables your daily goal. Don’t let winter stop you from enjoying produce. It may be harder to find fresh options, but frozen and canned are great alternatives. See “20 Ways to Enjoy More Fruits and Vegetables”
  3. Watch Portion Sizes
    Do you know if you’re eating the proper portion size? Get out the measuring cups and see how close your portions are to the recommended serving size. Using smaller plates, bowls and glasses can help you keep portions under control. Use half your plate for fruits and vegetables and the other half for grains and lean meat, poultry, seafood or beans. To complete the meal, add a glass of fat-free or low-fat milk or a serving of fat-free yogurt for dessert. Visit
  4. Be Active
    Regular physical activity lowers blood pressure and helps your body control stress and weight. Start by doing what exercise you can for at least 10 minutes at a time. Children and teens should get 60 or more minutes of physical activity per day, and adults should het two hours and 30 minutes per week. You don’t have to hit the gym – take a walk after dinner or play a game of catch or basketball.
  5. Fix Healthy Snacks
    Healthy snacks can sustain your energy levels between meals. Whenever possible, make your snacks combination snacks. Choose from the MyPlate food groups: whole grains, fruits, vegetables, low-fat or fat-free dairy, lean protein or nuts. Try low-fat yogurt with fruit, whole-grain crackers with low-fat cheese, or a small portion of nuts with an apple or banana. For more snack ideas, see “25 Healthy Snacks for Kids” and “Smart Snacking for Adults and Teens”
  6. Get to Know Food Labels
    Ever wonder about what the numbers in the Nutrition Facts panel really mean? Or, the difference between “reduced fat” and “low-fat”? The Food and Drug Administration has strict guidelines on how food label terms can be used. To learn more about food labels, see “Shop Smart – Get the Facts on Food Labels”
  7. Consult an RD
    Whether you want to lose weight, lower your cholesterol or simply eat better, consult the experts! Registered dietitians can help you by providing sound, easy-to-follow personalized nutrition advice and put you on the path to losing weight, eating well and reducing your risk of chronic disease. Learn more about RDs at
  8. Follow Food Safety Guidelines
    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that roughly one in six Americans gets sick from foodborne disease each year. Reduce your chances of getting sick by practicing proper hand washing. Separate raw meat, poultry and seafood from ready-to-eat foods like bread and vegetables. Use a food thermometer to make sure food is properly cooked. Refrigerate food quickly at a proper temperature to slow bacteria growth. Learn more about home food safety at
  9. Get Cooking
    Cooking at home can be healthy, rewarding and cost-effective. Resolve to learn some cooking and kitchen basics, like how to dice an onion or how to store herbs and spices. The collection of How do I… videos at will get you started.
  10. Dine Out without Ditching Your Goals
    You can dine at a restaurant and stick to your healthy eating plan! The key is to plan ahead, ask questions and choose foods carefully. Think about nutritious items you can add to your plate – fruits, veggies, lean meat, poultry or fish – and look for grilled, baked, broiled or steamed items. See “Healthy Eating on the Run”
  11. Enact Family Meal Time
    Research shows that family meals promote healthier eating. Plan to eat as a family at least a few times each week in 2013. Set a regular mealtime. Turn off the TV, phones and other electronic devices to encourage mealtime talk. Get kids involved in meal planning and cooking and use this time to teach them about good nutrition. For more family mealtime tips, visit
  12. Banish Brown Bag Boredom
    Whether it’s a brown bag lunch for work or school, make it a healthy lunch packed with nutrition. Prevent brown bag boredom with these healthy lunch ideas. They’re easy to fix the night before and ready to go in the morning. Try whole-wheat couscous with chick peas or black beans; whole-wheat tortilla filled with chicken, mushrooms, onions and tomatoes; baked potato topped with broccoli, low-fat cheddar cheese and salsa; or spinach salad with sliced pears, red onion and low-fat feta cheese. Keep lunched safe with tips from
  13. Drink More Water
    Our bodies depend on water to regulate temperature, transport nutrients and oxygen to cells, carry away waste products and more. For generally healthy people who live in temperate climates, the Dietary Reference Intakes from the Institute of Medicine recommend a total daily beverage intake of 13 cups for men and 9 cups for women.

For a referral to a registered dietitian and for additional food and nutrition information visit

EatRightThe Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is the world’s largest organization of food and nutrition professionals. The Academy is committed to improving the nation’s health and advancing the profession of dietetics through research, education and advocacy.

Smart Snacking for Adults and Teens

Make snacks work for you by choosing nutrient-rich foods from the grains, fruit, vegetable, dairy and protein food groups. Snacks can boost your energy between meals and supply essential vitamins and minerals. There is a place for snacks in a healthy eating plan. Just choose wisely:NNM2013 011

  • Think of snacks as mini-meals that contribute nutrient-rich foods. You can fit snack calories into your personal healthy eating plan without over-spending your day’s calorie budget.
  • Snack only when you’re hungry. Skip the urge to nibble when you’re bored, frustrated or stressed. Feed the urge to do something by walking the dog or working in the garden.
  • Keep portion control in mind. Have a single-serve container of yogurt or put a small serving of nuts in a bowl. Eating directly from a multiple-serving package can lead to overeating.
  • Plan snacks ahead of time. Keep a variety of nutritious ready-to-eat supplies on hand, such as whole-grain crackers or low-fat cheese.

Get creative with the following snack suggestions by swapping out different fruits, vegetables and grains to keep your snacking exciting!

Snacks with 200 calories or less:

  • One tablespoon peanut butter spread on slices of a medium apple
  • One cup tomato soup with five whole-grain crackers
  • Three cups air-popped popcorn sprinkled with three tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
  • Tri-color veggie snack: 6 baby carrots, 10 sugar snap peas (or green pepper strips), 6 cherry tomatoes and 2 tablespoons reduced-fat ranch dressing for dipping
  • Small baked potato topped with salsa and 1 ounce low-fat cheese
  • Toaster waffle topped with 1/2 cup blueberries and 2 tablespoons low-fat yogurt
  • Six whole-wheat crackers and one slice low-fat Colby cheese
  • Fruit smoothie: Blend 1 cup fat-free milk, 1/2 cup frozen strawberries and 1/2 banana
  • One 6-inch tortilla with 1/4 cup black beans and 2 tablespoons fresh salsa
  • Quick-to-fix salad: 2 cups mixed greens with 1/2 cup mandarin oranges, 1 tablespoon slices almonds and 2 tablespoons reduced-fat dressing
  • Mini-sandwich: Whole-grain dinner roll with 1 slice deli turkey, 1 slice low-fat cheese and mustard

Snacks with 200 to 300 calories for active adults, teens and athletes:

Refuel between meals or after a work-out with these higher-calorie snacks. Watch serving sizes to stay within the range of 200 to 300 calories.

  • Whole wheat pita cut into wedges with 2 tablespoons humus for a dip
  • Yogurt parfait: Layer 6 ounces fat-free yogurt, 1/2 cup berries and 1/4 cup granola
  • Trail mix: Mix 20 almonds, miniature box of raisins, and 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • Instant oatmeal made with fat-free milk with 1 tablespoon honey, 1/2 cup sliced peaches and a dash of cinnamon
  • One 4-ounce fat-free, ready-to-eat vanilla pudding with 1/2 cup fresh fruit and 5 vanilla wafers
  • Veggie pizzas: Split whole wheat English muffin. Top with 2 tablespoons low-fat cream cheese, 1/2 cup diced fresh veggies and one once low-fat mozzarella cheese
  • Cinnamon-raisin mini-bagel spread with one tablespoon peanut butter
  • Hot chocolate made with low-fat or fat-free milk and a small oatmeal cookie
  • Whole-grain toaster waffle with 1 1/2 tablespoons chocolate-flavored hazelnut spread
  • Banana split: banana sliced lengthwise topped with 1/2 cup frozen yogurt and a tablespoon of chopped nuts

For a referral to a registered dietitian and for additional food and nutrition information visit

EatRightThe Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is the world’s largest organization of food and nutrition professionals. The Academy is committed to improving the nation’s health and advancing the profession of dietetics through research, education and advocacy.

Shop Smart – Get the Facts on Food Labels

Become a smart shopper by reading food labels to find out more about the foods you eat. The Nutrition Facts panel found on most food labels will help you:

  • Find out which foods are good sources of fiber, calcium, iron, and vitamin C
  • Compare similar foods to find out which one is lower in fat and calories
  • Search for low-sodium foods
  • Look for foods that are low in saturated fat and trans fats Quick Guide to Reading the Nutrition Facts Label
    Start with the Serving Size

A Quick Guide to Reading the Nutrition Facts LabelNNM2013 010
Start with the Serving Size

  • Look here for both the serving size (the amount for one serving)’ and the number of servings in the package.
  • Remember to check your portion size to the serving size listed on the label. If the label serving size is one cup, and you eat two cups, you are getting twice the calories, fat and other nutrients listed on the label.

Check Out the Total Calories and Fat

Find out how many calories are in a single serving and the number of calories from fat. It’s smart to cut back on calories and fat if you are watching your weight.

Let the Percent Daily Values Be Your Guide

Use percent Daily Values (DV) to help you evaluate how a particular food fits into your daily meal plan:

  • Daily Values are average levels of nutrients for a person eating 2,000 calories a day. A food item with a 5% DV means 5% of the amount of fat that a person consuming 2,000 calories a day would eat.
  • Remember: percent DV are for the entire day – not just for one meal or snack.
  • You may need more or less than 2,000 calories per day. For some nutrients you may need more or less than 100% DV.

The High and Low of Daily Values

  • 5 percent or less is low – try to aim low in total fat, saturated fat, cholesterol, and sodium
  • 20 percent or more is high – try to aim high in vitamins, minerals, and fiber

Limit Fat, Cholesterol and Sodium

Eating less of these nutrients may help reduce your risk of heart disease, high blood pressure and cancer:

  • Total fat includes saturated, polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fat. Limit to 100% DV or less per day.
  • Saturated fat and trans fat are linked to an increased risk of heart disease.
  • Sodium – high levels can add up to high blood pressure.
  • Remember to aim low for % DV of these nutrients.

Get Enough Vitamins, Minerals and Fiber

  • Eat more fiber, vitamins A and C, calcium, and iron to maintain good health and help reduce your risk of certain health problems such as osteoporosis and anemia.
  • Choose more fruits and vegetables to get more of these nutrients.
  • Remember to aim high for % DV of these nutrients.

Additional Nutrients

  • Carbohydrates – There are three types of carbohydrates: sugars, starches and fiber. Select whole-grain breads, cereals, rice and pasta plus fruits and vegetables.
  • Sugars – simple carbohydrates or sugars occur naturally in foods such as fruit juice (fructose), or come from refined sources such as table sugar (sucrose) or corn syrup.

Check the Ingredient List

Foods with more than one ingredient must have an ingredient list on the label. Ingredients are listed in descending order by weight. Those in the largest amounts are listed first. Effective January 2006, manufacturers are required to clearly state if food products contain any ingredients that contain protein derived from the eight major allergenic foods. These foods are milk, eggs, fish, crustacean, shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat and soybeans.

What Health Claims on Food Labels Really Mean

FDA has strict guidelines on how certain food label terms can be used. Some of the most common claims seen on food packages:

  • Low calorie – Less than 40 calories per serving
  • Low cholesterol – Less than 20 mg of cholesterol and 2 gm or less of saturated fat per serving
  • Reduced – 25% less of the specified nutrient or calories than the usual product
  • Good source of – Provides at leat 10% of the DV of a particular vitamin or nutrient per serving
  • Calorie free – Less than 5 calories per serving
  • Fat free/sugar-free – Less than 1/2 gram of fat or sugar per serving
  • Low sodium – Less than 140 mg of sodium per serving
  • High in – Provides 20% or more of the Daily Value of a specified nutrient per serving
  • High fiber – 5 or more grams of fiber per serving

FDA also sets standards for health-related claims on food labels to help consumers identity foods that are rich in nutrients and may help to reduce their risk for certain diseases. For example, health claims may highlight the link between calcium and osteoporosis, fiber and calcium, heart disease and fat, or high blood pressure and sodium.

For a referral to a registered dietitian and for additional food and nutrition information visit

EatRightThe Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is the world’s largest organization of food and nutrition professionals. The Academy is committed to improving the nation’s health and advancing the profession of dietetics through research, education and advocacy.

Power Up With Breakfast

Breakfast gives you energy to start the day. A healthy breakfast is important for everyone. Get the morning nutrition you need with these quick breakfast ideas.

  • NNM2013 009Make instant oatmeal with low-fat milk instead of water. Toss in raisins or dried cranberries and chopped walnuts.
  • Layer low-fat plain yogurt with your favorite crunchy cereal and blueberries.
  • Blend a breakfast smoothie with low-fat milk, frozen strawberries and a banana.
  • Make one packet of microwave oatmeal with low-fat milk. Mix in 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce. Sprinkle with apple pie spice or cinnamon.
  • Top a toaster waffle with low-fat yogurt and peach slices.
  • Stuff a whole-wheat pita with sliced, hard-cooked egg and low-fat shredded cheese.
  • Spread a flour tortilla with peanut butter. Add a whole banana and roll it up.
  • Spread low-fat cream cheese on a whole-grain toasted bagel. Top with sliced strawberries.
  • Add lean ham and low-fat Swiss cheese to a toasted whole-grain English muffin.

If your taste buds just don’t crave breakfast foods, try these:

  • Peanut butter and banana sandwich on whole-grain bread
  • Leftover veggie pizza
  • Deli turkey, a slice of low-fat cheese and lettuce wrapped in a tortilla
  • Leftover rice mixed with low-fat yogurt, dried fruit and nuts. Sprinkle with cinnamon.

Power up with a healthy breakfast and you’re off to a great start!

For a referral to a registered dietitian and for additional food and nutrition information visit

EatRightThe Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is the world’s largest organization of food and nutrition professionals. The Academy is committed to improving the nation’s health and advancing the profession of dietetics through research, education and advocacy.

The Croods Food Drive

MarqueeFDWhen you head out to see The Croods at Marquee Cinemas now through April 7th you can bring in donations of canned goods and other non-perishable food items to benefit the Fredericksburg Area Food Bank.

For every pound you donated, Marquee Cinemas will issue you a drawing ticket for a chance to win Two Free Movie Passes.

Marquee Cinemas is located at 5800 Southpoint Blvd, Fredericksburg, VA 22407

To view a flyer for this event click here.

To view a list of our most needed items click here.

Healthy Eating on the Run

You probably eat out a lot – most Americans do. People are looking for fast, easy and good-tasting foods to fit a busy lifestyle. Whether it’s carry-out, food court, office cafeteria or sit-down restaurant, there are smart choices everywhere. Here are 30 tips to help you eat healthy when eating out.

  1. NNM2013 008Think ahead and plan where you will eat. Consider what meal options are available. Look for restaurants or carry-out with a wide range of menu items.
  2. Take time to look over the menu and make careful selections. Some restaurant menus may have a special section for “healthier” choices.
  3. Read restaurant menus carefully for clues to fat and calorie content. Menu terms that can mean less fat and calories: baked, braised, broiled, grilled, poached, roasted, steamed.
  4. Menu terms that can mean more fat and calories: batter-fried, pan-fried, buttered, creamy, crispy, breaded. Choose these foods only occasionally and in small portions.
  5. Order the regular or child-size portion. Mega-sized servings are probably more than you need. For a lighter meal, order an appetizer in place of a main course.
  6. It’s OK to make special requests, just keep them simple. For example, ask for a baked potato or side salad in place of French fries; no mayonnaise or bacon on your sandwich; sauces served on the side.
  7. Hunger can drive you to eat too much bread before your meal arrives. Hold the bread or chips until your meal is served. Out of sight, out of mind.
  8. Think about your food choices for the entire day. If you’re planning a special restaurant meal in the evening, have a light breakfast and lunch.
  9. Limit the amount of alcohol you drink. No more than one drink for women and two for men. Alcohol tends to increase your appetite and provides calories without any nutrients.
  10. Tempted by sweet, creamy desserts? Order one dessert with enough forks for everyone at the table to have a bite.
  11. Split your order. Share an extra-large sandwich or main course with a friend or take half home for another meal.
  12. Boost the nutrition in all types of sandwiches by adding tomato, lettuce, peppers or other vegetables.
  13. A baked potato offers more fiber, fewer calories and less fat than fries if you skip the sour cream and butter. Top your potato with broccoli and a sprinkle of cheese or salsa.
  14. At the sandwich shop, choose lean beef, ham, turkey or chicken on whole grain bread. Ask for mustard, ketchup, salsa or low-fat spreads. And, don’t forget the veggies.
  15. In place of fries or chips, choose a side salad, fruit or baked potato. Or, share a regular order of fries with a friend.
  16. Enjoy ethnic foods such as Chinese stir fry, vegetable-stuffed pita or Mexican fajitas. Go easy on the sour cream, cheese and guacamole.
  17. At the salad bar, pile on the dark leafy greens, carrots, peppers and other fresh vegetables. Lighten up on mayonnaise-based salads and high-fat toppings. Enjoy fresh fruit as your dessert.
  18. Eat your lower-calorie food first. Soup or salad is a good choice. Follow up with a light main course.
  19. Ask for sauces, dressings and toppings to be served “on the side”. Then you control how much you eat.
  20. Pass up all-you-can-eat specials, buffets and unlimited salad bars if you tent to eat too much.
  21. If you do choose the buffet, fill up on salads and vegetables first. Take no more than two trips and use the small plate that holds less food.
  22. Load up your pizza with vegetable toppings. If you add meat, make it lean ham, Canadian bacon, chicken or shrimp.
  23. Look for a sandwich wrap in a soft tortilla. Fillings such as rice mixed with seafood, chicken or grilled vegetables are usually lower in fat and calories.
  24. Build a better breakfast sandwich: replace bacon or sausage with Canadian bacon or ham and order your sandwich on a whole grain English muffin or bagel.
  25. Be size-wise about muffins, bagels, croissants and biscuits. A jumbo muffin has more than twice the fat and calories of the regular size.
  26. Try a smoothie made with juice, fruit and yogurt for a light lunch or snack.
  27. Refrigerate carry-out or leftovers if the food won’t be eaten right away. Toss foods kept at room temperature for more than two hours.
  28. Grabbing dinner at the supermarket deli? Select rotisserie chicken, salad-in-a-bag and freshly baked bread. Or, try sliced lean roast beef, onion rolls, potato salad and fresh fruit.
  29. Always eating on the go? Truck portable, nonperishable foods in your purse, tote, briefcase or backpack for an on-the-run meal. Some suggestions are peanut butter and crackers, granola bars, a piece of fresh fruit, trail mix, single serve packages of whole grain cereal or crackers.
  30. For desk-top dining, keep single-serve packages of crackers, fruit, peanut butter, soup, or tuna in your desk for a quick-lunch.

For a referral to a registered dietitian and for additional food and nutrition information visit

EatRightThe Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is the world’s largest organization of food and nutrition professionals. The Academy is committed to improving the nation’s health and advancing the profession of dietetics through research, education and advocacy.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day

CaptureToday is St. Patrick’s Day! People have been celebrating the Feast Day of Saint Patrick for over a thousand years. Saint Patrick was born and raised in Roman Britain during the fifth century. At the age of sixteen he was captured and sold as a slave to an Irish sheep farmer, but eventually managed to escape. He spent several years in a monastery before returning to Ireland as a Christian missionary. Today he is hailed as the patron saint and national apostle of Ireland.

Over the years St. Patrick’s Day has evolved from a religious observance to a worldwide celebration of Irish culture. In Ireland, men wear shamrocks on their jackets and caps, and women wear green ribbons in their hair. In the United States, cities like Boston, Philadelphia, and Savannah host huge St. Patrick’s Day parades, and Chicago dyes its river bright green!

Why not celebrate this year by holding a St. Patrick’s day themed Food/Funds Drive to support the Fredericksburg Area Food Bank? Click here to learn more on hosting a food/funds drive for the food bank.