Vitamins A, C, Calcium, fruit/dairy LIMITED in Food Pantries

Vitamins A and C, calcium, fruit, and dairy products are limited in food pantries.

Akobundu UO, Cohen NL, Laus MJ, Schulte MJ, Soussloff MN.

Department of Nutrition, University of Massachusetts, 100 Holdsworth Way, Amherst, MA 01003-9282, USA.

Food pantries serve over 19 million Americans, yet little is known about the nutritional quality of foods distributed in pantry bags.

Foods in bags from 133 clients from 19 pantry sites were itemized, and a mean site value for nutrient and food group content was calculated.

If an individual consumed the pantry foods according to the Food Guide Pyramid, the bag would contain sufficient bread group foods to last approximately 7 days; vegetable and meat/protein group foods would last about 5 days, and fruit and milk group foods would last only approximately 3 days.

Foods distributed were of adequate or high nutrient density for protein, fiber, iron, and folate, but were of low nutrient density for calcium, vitamin A, and vitamin C.

Creative efforts are needed for pantries to procure, store, and distribute additional fruit, dairy products, and other sources of vitamins A and C and calcium.

J Am Diet Assoc. 2004 May;104(5):811-3.

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