Every March, dietitians across the country remind us of the importance of healthy eating and the positive impact nutrition has on our health and well-being.
Eating healthy lowers disease risks, increases productivity and learning development, and benefits psychological health and family life.
Across the country, Salvation Army programs and services aim to help people with limited income eat right, which is important for their overall health and wellness, by providing balanced meals and nutritious food.
- The Salvation Army’s Belkin House, a residential program facility in the heart of Vancouver that is dedicated to breaking the cycle of homelessness, follows the basic rule of providing a starch, protein, vegetable and beverage for every meal.
“Our six week rotation menu is analyzed and approved by a registered dietician according to the Canadian Food and Nutrition guide,” says Alvin Chong, food services manager at The Salvation Army’s Belkin House.
- A licensed practical nurse is also on site to address special nutritional needs as a result of health concerns such as diabetes and abnormal blood pressure.
- In Penticton, B.C., The Salvation Army’s food bank, in partnership with Valley First Credit Union, has produced a series of five cookbooks that are designed to address the issue of food insecurity by providing healthy, affordable meals for people on a tight budget.
- The Salvation Army in Markham offers low-income families a hands-on, weekly cooking class where participants create delicious meals and learn more about nutrition.
“My daughter used to be sick,” says Antoinette. “When I learned how to make healthy soup, I could see the difference in how my daughter was feeling.”
- “There isn’t a lot of food in my house,” says one Grade 5 student who receives a healthy lunch from The Salvation Army in Regina. “Sometimes there is nothing in our refrigerator.
- In St. Johns, N.L., up to 150 kids line up at The Salvation Army each week to enjoy a healthy lunch.
As food keeps getting more expensive, many people can’t afford healthy food. The Salvation Army believes that everyone should have access to balanced, nutritious foods. Eating a nutritious and balanced diet is one of the best ways to protect and promote good health.