Food Bank Concentrates on Diabetes Prevention Efforts

SALINAS, CA. (Feb. 15, 2018) — March 27 is American Diabetes Association Alert Day® and the Food Bank for Monterey County is not only able to offer healthy food options to Monterey County residents, but educational programs to help stop the spread of Type II Diabetes.

Held the last Tuesday of March each year, American Diabetes Association Alert Day® is a one-day event that encourages everyone to take the Type 2 Diabetes Risk Test and participate in activities that will teach them about reversing the risk for diabetes.

And as the largest and most comprehensive provider of emergency supplemental food and a key proponent of anti-hunger and healthy eating education and advocacy in Monterey County, the Food Bank feeds more than 100,000 residents of Monterey County each year.

Type 2 diabetes, the most common form of diabetes, occurs when the body does not use insulin properly. This is called insulin resistance. At first, the pancreas makes extra insulin to make up for it. But, over time the pancreas isn’t able to keep up and can’t make enough insulin to keep the blood glucose levels normal. Type 2 is treated with lifestyle changes, oral medications (pills), and insulin.

Some people with type 2 can control their blood glucose with healthy eating and being active. But, a doctor may need to also prescribe oral medications or insulin to help meet target blood glucose levels. Type 2 usually gets worse over time — even if you don’t need medications at first, one may need to later on.

Some groups have a higher risk for developing type 2 diabetes than others, including African Americans, Latinos, Native Americans, and Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders, as well as the aged population.

The Food Bank has been at the frontlines of fighting hunger and addressing nutritional needs in the County for more than 25 years. And, in June, the Food Bank will be moving into its new 50,000-square-foot facilities, which boasts of 20,000 square feet of cold storage. This will allow the Food Bank to not only continue all its programs, but to do it more efficiently and with more storage.

Along with its three large-scale food Emergency Food Assistance Program (E.F.A.P.), Agency Clearinghouse Program, and the Family Market Program, programs growing and expanding include a Senior Produce Market, Youth Family Market, Farmworker Mobile Produce Pantry, Breast Cancer Patient Food Assistance Program, and Kids N.O.W. (Nutrition On Weekends). These programs address the needs and concerns of the County’s most vulnerable residents — seniors, farmworkers, and children.

In addition to providing food, the Food Bank also works to promote the healthful diet, exercise, and lifestyle practices that will maximize the benefits of the nutritious food provided through its programs, including preventing and reducing incidences of Type II Diabetes.

Food Bank distribution sites are a popular venue for information on nutrition, recipes, and healthful living, as well as other resources available to low-income residents who need assistance with other crucial human needs such as housing or health care.


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