If the current weather is any indication, spring is giving way to brighter and warmer days. The sunniest season of all signals a time when most young children will be on summer break. When class is not in session, 1 out of every 5 children will not have access to the healthy and filling meals they receive while attending school. Second Harvest Food Bank recognizes this food gap and needs your help to provide basic building blocks like protein for the children we serve.
Why canned proteins?
This month we set our sights on another set of nutrient rich foods – canned proteins such as canned chicken, tuna and salmon. These thin circular metal cans should not be underestimated solely because of their diminutive sizes. They are all highly valuable sources of protein which is why “canned protein” always appears on our most needed foods list.
Proteins are the building blocks for our bones, muscles, and blood. The USDA’s website offers an abundance of information on healthy protein intake. They recommend protein portions of 5-6 ounces a day for adults and 2-6 ounces for children. Canned tuna is packed with omega-3s while it has lower mercury content than fresh seafood. It also provides the body with vitamin D and selenium. A daily dose of protein, such as seafood, helps with nervous system development for young children and can prevent heart disease for adults.
Our nutritionist Janet Hung explains, “Canned chicken and fish are great sources of protein, which can help repair and build muscles. If you’re lactose intolerant or not a fan of dairy foods, you can always turn to canned fish with bones. In fact, canned salmon is one of the most calcium-rich, non-dairy foods. One 3.5 oz serving with bones contains two thirds as much calcium as a cup of milk.”
How can you help?
There are three easy ways to help us provide healthy, protein-rich meals to local children and our neighbors in need. To learn more about how you can host a food drive for canned proteins, visit our website. Your online donations also help us purchase more protein to build meals. A gift of $10 feeds 20 children! To make a donation, please visit this page. If you are interested in making a food donation of canned protein, we happily accept food donations at all three of our locations.
Your support can bring us one step closer to achieving a hunger-free summer for local children and families in Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties.