Health is one of our greatest assets and it shouldn’t be exclusive to those who have the resources to support it. Yet low-income populations see statistically higher rates of diseases and health problems. Even in the Netherlands, a country that boasts high equality and life satisfaction, those with lower incomes have a life expectancy that is seven years shorter and are estimated to be in good health for 19 years less.
But money isn’t the only factor affecting our access to nutrition. Food deserts (geographic areas without healthy food options) are pervasive in many countries. Those with limited time and mobility have even less access to fresh produce and nutritious food.
Fortunately, there are ways we can support nutrition in our own communities and ensure these resources continue to be available where we need them. Here are three simple ways.
1. Support local food production
Local dairies, farms, and ranches reconnect communities to their food sources. When we buy directly from local growers, we help provide a much better return and give them an economic boost. The food you’ll find at your local farmers market or food stand will likely be more nutritious than a lot of the food you’ll find at the grocery store, too. Buying locally grown food is a win-win for everyone in your community.
2. Subscribe to healthy subscriptions boxes
If your area isn’t hopping with locally grown produce, let the internet be your guide. Many growers have shipping options listed online, which is a great way to beat the limited options in your geographic area—and save you some time shopping. Make it a subscription box and your future self will thank you as you continue to bank healthy decisions without any extra steps.
3. Donate nutrient-dense items to food banks in your community
Food banks need donations all year round. Recently, the Unicity Make Life Better Foundation donated over 1,800 pounds of protein powder to a local children’s food bank. The food bank was overjoyed watching the truck pull in and knew exactly what to do with the supplements. They will send them to local students who don’t have access to healthy breakfast options and because of this have a hard time concentrating in school.
Nutrition doesn’t have to be a luxury. It’s something we can all access, no matter where we live. Let’s work together to bring better nutrition support to our communities.