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MyPlate: Guidelines for Good Nutrition

Our Registered Dietitian, Kelly Hall, discusses MyPlate and how to use it for a nutritious diet.

March is National Nutrition Month, so it’s the perfect time to talk about how to build a nutritious diet. You’ve probably heard about the food pyramid, but it can get difficult to translate what a typical meal should look like based on the food pyramid. That’s why the USDA created MyPlate – to help people visualize what a healthy diet looks like at each meal.

Kelly discusses the nutritional value of each food group and how your body uses each food group. You can find more helpful tips, recipes and information about nutrition at choosemyplate.gov and on our blog!

National Cabbage Day!

Wednesday, February 17, is National Cabbage Day!

Cabbage is a filling, versatile vegetable. The St. Louis Area Foodbank distributed around 500,000 lbs. of fresh cabbage last year to families in need. Cabbage contains nutrients that help support digestion and heart health – a perfect vegetable to eat during Heart Month!

Our Registered Dietitian, Kelly Hall, put together a coleslaw recipe that’s an easy addition to any meal!

Coleslaw

Ingredients:
-1 small head of cabbage, shredded
-1 cup of shredded carrotsDressing:
-½ cup mayonnaise
-1 tablespoon vinegar
-2 tablespoons white sugar
-salt and pepper
-1 ½ tablespoons lemon juice

Instructions:
1. Combine cabbage and carrots in a large mixing bowl.
2. Combine all ingredients for the dressing and toss with cabbage mixture.
3. Refrigerate for at least an hour to let the flavors combine. Serve cold.

Click here to find more recipes!

Heart Healthy Tips for Heart Month

February is American Heart Month

We have some easy tips to take care of your heart put together by our Registered Dietitian, Kelly Hall. Some simple substitutions and additions to your diet can go a long way in preventing heart disease. This month, try the delicious salmon recipe we suggest at the bottom of the blog, do some cardio exercises, or just take some time to learn more about the importance of heart health.

  1. Choose fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables over canned.
  2. Choose whole grain products like whole grain pasta and brown rice.
  3. Choose low fat or fat free dairy products.
  4. Limit consumption of red meat and incorporate more poultry, fish, and seafood.
  5. Try one meatless meal per week. Beans make a great, hearty meat substitute.
  6. Use salt free seasonings like Mrs. Dash, pepper, garlic and onion powder.
  7. Limit consumption of pre-packaged meals. They are typically high in sodium and fat.
  8. Use oil based dressings instead of creamy, dairy based dressings.
  9. Substitute applesauce for oil, butter or shortening when baking.
  10. Check portion sizes. Look at the nutrition facts label to see the correct serving size.

Try a delicious salmon recipe! Salmon has Omega 3 fatty acids, which studies have shown to prevent heart disease.

Honey Glazed Salmon with Citrus Avocado Salsa

Ingredients 

Salmon

4 (6 oz) skinless salmon fillets

8 tsp honey, divided

8 tsp flour, divided

2 Tbsp olive oil

Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

 Salsa

1 large hass avocado, peeled, cored and diced

1/3 cup chopped red onion (I like to run under cool water to remove harsh bite)

1 tsp orange zest

2 small navel oranges, peeled, segmented and diced*

1 tsp lime zest

2 Tbsp lime juice

1 cloves garlic, minced

3 Tbsp cilantro, chopped

Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Working with 2 salmon fillets at a time, sprinkle tops of fillets with salt and pepper, then drizzle tops with 1 tsp honey and rub over salmon to evenly cover, then sprinkle tops with 1 tsp flour and spread to cover.
  3. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 Tbsp olive oil, once oil is hot add 2 salmon fillets to pan and cook until bottom is golden brown, about 2 minutes. While they cook, sprinkle tops of fillets in pan with salt and pepper then drizzle and rub top with 1 tsp honey and 1 tsp flour.
  4. Carefully rotate salmon and cook until bottom is golden, about 2 minutes longer. Repeat process with remaining 2 fillets.
  5. Lightly spray a baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray then transfer salmon to baking sheet. Bake in preheated until cooked through, about 7 – 10 minutes longer (cook time will vary depending on thickness of salmon).
  6. Serve warm with citrus avocado salsa.

For the salsa:

Add all ingredients to a medium bowl and gently toss, while seasoning with salt and pepper to taste.

*This can also be made without the oranges, just omit the oranges and orange zest and use 2 avocados and up lime zest to 2 tsp.

Celebrate Peanut Butter Day

Sunday, January 24th, is National Peanut Butter Day! There are lots of reasons to celebrate, especially since peanut butter is a great item to donate for families in need.

Peanut Butter is easy to store, which makes distributing it easier. Our Registered Dietitian, Kelly Hall, put together a list of reasons peanut butter is a healthy supplement to your diet:

Good Source of Protein: 2 tablespoons of peanut butter pack in 7 grams of protein. As a protein-rich food, when you eat peanut butter you feel fuller for longer. Additionally the protein is also good for building and repairing muscles, which is especially important if you work out.

Heart Friendly: When consumed in moderate amounts, eating a high quality peanut butter can improve your heart health, especially when compared to those who seldom or never eat nuts.

Potassium: Peanut butter is an excellent source of potassium, and potassium can go a long way towards countering the dangers of sodium that can wreak havoc on your cardiovascular system.

Energy Booster: Peanut Butter contains plenty of calories that will give you lots of energy for your activities. It’s perfect for a morning meal as it gives you an energy hit for the day.

Fiber Rich: 2 tablespoons of peanut butter gives you 2 grams of fiber. Adequate consumption of fiber is important for the healthy functioning of your body.

Packed With Nutrients: Protein, fiber, healthy fats, potassium, magnesium, zinc, vitamin E and the list goes on.  Peanut butter contains nutrients that are good for bone building, muscle recovery, and boost your immune system.


 

If you think a PB&J is the only way to enjoy peanut butter, we have some delicious recipes for you to try! Whether its for breakfast, dinner or dessert, peanut butter provides good nutrition and flavor for any meal!

Spicy Peanut Chicken

Ingredients

chicken

  •         1 tablespoon peanut oil
  •         1 cup chopped onion (about 1 medium)
  •         1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic 
  •         2 1/2 lbs. chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
  •         1/3 cup chunky peanut butter
  •         1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder
  •         1 teaspoon salt
  •         1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  •         1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  •         1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
  •         3 cups chopped plum tomato (about 6 tomatoes)
  •         2 (14-ounce) cans fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
  •         Rice and Greek yogurt (if desired)

Instructions

  1.    Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion and garlic to pan; cook 5 minutes or until tender, stirring frequently.
  2.   Add chicken to pan; cook 4 minutes or until chicken is done, stirring frequently.
  3.   Stir in peanut butter and next 5 ingredients (through tomato paste); cook 1 minute.
  4.   Add tomato and broth to pan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 30 minutes or until slightly thickened, stirring occasionally.
  5.   Serve chicken mixture over rice; top each serving with Greek yogurt if desired.

Peanut Butter, Strawberry, Banana Quesadilla

Ingredients

  •           Cooking spray or butter
    strawberry banana quesadilla

  •           2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
  •           2 whole grain tortillas
  •           1 large ripe banana, sliced
  •           4-5 strawberries, sliced
  •           1/8 teaspoon cinnamon (if desired)

Instructions

  1. Heat a medium skillet over medium high heat and spray pan with cooking spray.
  2. Spread 1 tablespoon of the peanut butter evenly over each tortilla. Arrange both the banana and strawberry slices over one tortilla, sprinkle with a pinch of cinnamon, and top with the remaining tortilla, peanut butter side down. Press gently to help them stick together.
  3. When the skillet is hot, add the quesadilla, flipping once, until golden brown, about 2 minutes per side. Cut each quesadilla into halves or quarters.

Tips

  • For a dessert version try adding 1 teaspoon of mini chocolate chips
  • Serve with honey, maple syrup, vanilla Greek yogurt, or chocolate sauce

Peanut Butter Chocolate No Bake Cookies

Ingredients

cookies

  •        2 cups sugar
  •        1/2 cup milk
  •        1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter
  •        1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  •        3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  •        1 cup smooth peanut butter
  •        1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  •        1 pinch kosher salt

Instructions

  1. Line a baking sheet with wax paper or parchment.
  2. Bring the sugar, milk, butter and cocoa to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, then let boil for 1 minute. Remove from the heat. Add the oats, peanut butter, vanilla and salt, and stir to combine.
  3. Drop teaspoon size cookies of the mixture onto the prepared baking sheet, and let sit at room temperature until cooled and hardened, about 30 minutes. Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Pantry Spotlight: AGAPE

A forward-thinking non-profit, AGAPE consistently reviews client needs and its methods for meeting them.

For example, AGAPE recently consolidated its two locations into one countywide site, allowing them to serve clients more efficiently and to even increase services while decreasing costs. “In ever-challenging financial times, being good stewards of the dollar is incredibly important,” notes Executive Director Michelle Bernth. “We believe that this change allows us to make the best use of the money given to us by our funders and donors.”

In addition, AGAPE offers emergency food services, case management, connections to job training, search and readiness assistance, daycare assistance, utilities assistance (as funds allow), and access to clothing, personal care and household items. AGAPE also helps provide school supplies to children in need and special meals for Thanksgiving and Christmas. It hosts an “adopt-a-family” Christmas program for local families and addresses emotional needs by providing birthday boxes for children that include a gift, cake and decorations.

AGAPE seeks to give people a hand up, not just a hand out. To that end, they are working toward measuring meaningful outcomes. They have created a new program, FAST (Families Achieving Self-Sufficiency Today), to help families break out of poverty and get on the path to self-sufficiency by not only meeting their immediate needs, but also identifying long-term help they will need to regain their footing.  

“It goes a long way to remember that our clients are people, just like us, who happen to be going through a hard time,” Bernth explains. “We treat every client with dignity and respect and approach every situation on an individual basis. Our volunteers are wonderful and they are committed to providing caring assistance to our clients. We could not do what we do without our volunteers!”

AGAPE receives a variety of products from the Foodbank, including USDA commodities and twice-monthly retail product deliveries. The agency does not own a truck, so they rely on the Foodbank to deliver these products to them. AGAPE also participates in the Foodbank mobile markets program.

Hours: Monday-Friday 9:30am-2:00pm, by appointment only

People served each month: 1,200

National Bean Day

Wednesday, January 6th, is National Bean Day!

Beans are a great source of fiber and protein, and they’re very versatile, so it’s easy to find a way to include them in your diet.

A convenient way to incorporate beans in your meals is to use canned beans because most are ready-to-use or just require heating. However, canned beans can be high in sodium.

You can easily cut down on the high sodium levels by purchasing low-sodium canned goods and thoroughly rinsing your beans before using them.

Share some of your favorite ways to use beans!

Our Registered Dietitian, Kelly Hall, put together a recipe that includes 3 beans and is easy to make!


Three Bean Salad
bean salad

Ingredients

1- 15 oz can cut green beans

1- 15 oz can dark red kidney beans

1- 15 oz can cannellini or white beans

1 medium red onion, chopped

1 medium green pepper, chopped

½ cup canola oil

¼ cup white vinegar

¼ cup sugar

1 teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon white pepper

Directions

  1.   Rinse green beans and cook according to can instructions or until tender.
  2.   Rinse and drain canned beans.
  3.   Toss beans with chopped onion and green pepper.
  4.   Combine the oil, vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper and pour over the beans. Stir to combine.
  5.   Chill at least 4 hours before serving. The longer the salad has to marinate, the better the flavor. Allow to chill overnight for best results.

 

Call Congress About Food Donation Tax Deductions

action alert_blog

There are only a few days left for Congress to finish their work for the year, and we have an important opportunity to pass tax legislation that would bring billions of meals into our network.

Right now, Congress is working on a tax package that would renew or make permanent several expiring tax provisions.  We need your voice to make sure the food donation tax deduction is included in that final package.

We are joining nonprofits from around the country and calling Congress today to convince them to expand and make permanent the food donation tax deduction and other charitable tax incentives.  Will you join us?

Call Congress Today!
Calling Congress is easy.  Here’s how:

  1. Just dial our toll free number, (888) 398-8702, listen to the pre-recorded message and enter your zip code when prompted.
  2. Once you are connected to your first senator, state that you are a constituent, and give your name and the town you are calling from.
  3. Let them know you are calling about tax policy and deliver this important message:

As your constituent and supporter/employee of the St. Louis Area Foodbank, I am calling you to urge you to include the America Gives More Act charitable tax incentives in the final tax package currently being negotiated in Congress.  Feeding America food banks are providing food for 46.5 million Americans a year and need more food to meet the need.  At the same time, over 70 billion pounds of food are wasted each year here in America.  You can help us get more food to those in need by passing charitable giving tax incentives immediately.

Be sure to dial back in and speak with both of your senators and your representative.

Thank you for taking the time to support the St. Louis Area Foodbank!

Pumpkin Pudding Parfait

If you’re feeling a little overwhelmed after planning a whole Thanksgiving meal, then this easy dessert will save you time and stress.

This pumpkin pie parfait has all of the flavor and nostalgia of a pumpkin pie with less fat and less time spent in the kitchen.

Kelly Hall, our Registered Dietitian, demonstrates how easy it is to put this dessert together.

Give yourself a break this year, and keep everyone happy with the pumpkin pie flavor they love.

Ingredients

  • 1 ounce fat-free sugar-free instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 2 cups skim milk
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree (or approx 1/2 of a 15oz can)
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 -2 cup Cool Whip Lite
  • 4 low-fat cinnamon graham crackers
  • 1/4 cup pecans

Directions

1. Prepare pudding according to package directions. Be sure to whisk for the full two minutes as the box instructs to ensure creamy texture.

2. Whisk in pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice, and cinnamon.

3. Allow to set up in the refrigerator for at least 5 minutes (longer is better).

4. In small glasses or bowls, spoon in about 1/3 cup of pumpkin pudding, spreading with a spoon to create an even layer.

5. Next, add a layer of cool whip, followed by the last layer of pumpkin pudding.

6. Top with a dollop of cool whip and sprinkle with crushed graham crackers and pecans.

7. Enjoy immediately while graham crackers are still crunchy.

 

Find more healthy Thanksgiving recipes here.

Lucky’s Market 10% for Good Campaign

Lucky's Market. 10% for good. November 15th through Christmas.

Lucky’s Market will be donating 10% of the proceeds of its private label items to the St. Louis Area Foodbank
IMG_2552

By purchasing Lucky’s Market black label items for your everyday grocery needs, you’ll be giving back to families in need in your community.

On Saturday, November 21, double your impact by stopping by the Lucky’s Market Rock Hill location. The Riverfront Times and the St. Louis Area Foodbank will be collecting canned goods for families in need.

We’ve created some recipes that include Lucky’s brand items to get you started. The recipe cards can be downloaded and printed for easy use. As an added bonus they also tell you how many meals you’re giving back to your community by purchasing the Lucky’s items listed!

Download recipe cards here

Lucky’s Market is located in Rock Hill and Ellisville, MO, and will run the 10% for Good campaign until Christmas.

Lucky’s Market Rock Hill
9530 Manchester Rd
St. Louis, MO 63119

Lucky’s Market Ellisville
15830 Fountain Plaza Drive
Ellisville, MO 63011

 

What Scouting for Food Means

2015 SFF logo GSLAC

Scouting for Food is the St. Louis Area Foodbank’s largest one-day food drive.

Each year, over 30,000 Boy Scouts, parents, and volunteers collect food from all parts of the St. Louis area.

For hundreds of area households, Scouting for Food simply means placing a food donation on their porch one Saturday in November.

For the Boy Scouts and volunteers, Scouting for Food means picking up and sorting those donations all over St. Louis, so they can be brought to the Foodbank.

For the St. Louis Area Foodbank, Scouting for Food means our largest one-day food drive. It means over 2 million items to be distributed to our neighbors in need. It means a full warehouse of food to send to our partner pantries and soup kitchens. Scouting for Food is a one-day event that shows us just how impactful community support can be.

Here’s what the one-day food drive looks like at the St. Louis Area Foodbank:

:
Last year we distributed over 520,000 meals to our neighbors in need thanks to the communities donations for Scouting for Food.
Thank you for your support in the past years. We hope you’ll be able to participate on November 21st by placing your donation on your front porch to be collected.