Special Blog Post By: Maria Niles, Local Blogger

My friend Marcia Silva at the Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties invited me to take part in Feeding America’s Photo-a-Day Challenge for March which is National Nutrition Month®. Hunger is one of the key areas in which I focus my charitable giving and support so I eagerly agreed. Plus, since this is my year of 30 day challenges and of a photo+story a day, this is a perfect project for me to take part in.

Hunger remains a significant problem in this country. Far too many people go hungry every day. There are many challenges on this front for food banks to fight including helping those people who use food bank services get nutritious food and learn how to make the most of their limited resources to prepare healthy food choices on limited budgets.

Feeding America reports* that:

    Feeding America strives to provide those facing hunger not only with enough food to meet their needs, but also with increased access to healthful, nourishing foods. This includes providing our clients with Foods to Encourage (F2E), such as fruits and vegetables, low-fat protein, whole grains and low-fat/non-fat dairy. These foods are emphasized in the 2010 USDA Dietary Guidelines, but they are often out of reach for many of the families we serve.

    Nearly two-thirds of the food we distribute through the Feeding America network is classified as F2E. Providing a range of fruits and vegetables to those facing hunger is a top priority. As part of this effort, each year, Feeding America distributes more than 800 million pounds of fresh produce. Our goal is to increase our distribution of fresh produce to 1 billion pounds annually.

Marcia also wrote a terrific post showing how the Second Harvest Food Bank is working here on the Peninsula and South Bay to increase the amount of healthy food they are able to provide as well as to share nutrition information with community members.

I hope you’ll follow me and Second Harvest on Instagram or Pinterest to see the photos I’ll be sharing daily over the month of March. Better yet I hope you’ll take on the challenge yourself and share a photo-a-day and encourage your friends, family and followers to think about nutrition and ways in which they can support Second Harvest or their local food bank.

*Taken from: “National Nutrition Month® Overview: Promoting Nutrition in the Feeding America Network 2014 Theme: Enjoy the Taste of Eating Right”

View Maria’s original post on PopConsumer.

***Thanks to Maria for taking on the Photo-A-Day Challenge! We are very excited to see how nutrition inspires her. Her photos will be reposted on Instagram and pinned on Pinterest to inspire our followers too. If you decide to tackle the challenge, don’t forget to tag @2ndharvest so we can find you.