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Friday, May 2, 2014

Shop for a cause this weekend

    Starting tonight through Sunday the Mall in Columbia is sponsoring "Shop for a Cause at the Mall in Columbia."   Bring your store and restaurant receipts to Guest Services (in front of Lord & Taylor) or to the United Way table (in front of Williams Sonoma) and the mall will donate 10 percent of your purchases to United Way's Access to Healthy Food Initiative!  What is donated will go to support food efforts in Howard County.  
   This is part of the United Way's 2014 Food Week.

     Healthy Food Week 2014 is here! Join the United Way May 2-10, 2014 for healthy food drives and easy ways to donate healthy food to our neighbors in need, all supporting Access to Healthy Food Initiative!

Wegman's in Columbia through May 10 allows you to purchase and donate healthy food in the front of their store. Here's some other ways United Way is providing ways for you to participate:

"Conduct a healthy food drive at your business, school or other organization. Contact Liz Crammond to get started.

Donate healthy food that will go to local food pantries:
May 2-10: Drop off healthy food at a Coldwell Banker location in central Maryland; or
May 10: Leave a bag of healthy food by your home mailbox for Stamp Out Hunger (letter carriers will collect these donations).

Click here to download a PDF of healthy food items you can donate.

Why is healthy food so important?

Spring and summer months are an extremely slow time for food donations, leaving shelters, food banks and pantries, as well as soup kitchens with empty shelves. But the need for healthy food is greater than ever. In fact, food insecurity is rising at an alarming rate and more than 325,000 children and adults in central Maryland do not have adequate nutrition and access to healthy foods. Our Access to Healthy Food Initiative aims to change that, and to date, we've sourced 7.4 million pounds of healthy food. Join us to bring even more healthy food donations to our community this year.

We welcome any size organization or school to participate in a healthy food drive! UWCM will connect you with an organization or pantry in need of healthy non-perishable items or your organization may select one on its own.

Determine the weight (by weighing or approximating) of food collected and share the total poundage with UWCM, along with any photographs you would like others to see. Your pictures just may inspire someone to donate!"

Participating partners:

Healthy food items to donate:
Fruits and Vegetables:
Low or no sodium canned vegetables
No sugar added or unsweetened canned fruit and fruit cups*
Unsweetened, all natural applesauce*

Plain, low sugar oatmeal or rolled oats and Cream of Wheat
Whole grain, high fiber cereal,* (e.g., Cheerios, All Bran, Kashi, Total)
Whole grain pasta
Brown or wild rice

Proteins, beans and legumes:
Low sodium canned chicken, tuna and other seafood in water
Low sodium beef stew, chili or bean soup
Low or no sodium canned or dried beans and lentils (black, pinto, white
and kidney beans, chickpeas, etc.)
Shelf stable tofu
Low sodium or all natural peanut butter (e.g., Simply Jif or Skippy Natural
Unsalted nuts and seeds

Low fat shelf stable and powdered milk
Low fat, calcium fortified and shelf stable regular, soy, almond or rice milk
Low or no fat pudding cups

Low fat granola bars
Plain, no salt added popcorn
Whole wheat fig bars
Whole grain rice cakes
Reduced fat, whole wheat and multigrain crackers
Low fat pudding cups
Dried fruit (100% fruit, no sugar added fruit leathers, raisins and dried fruit)

Bottled plain/still water
Baby food (fruit and vegetables and whole grain cereals).
Low or no sodium, shelf-stable pasta sauces
Low or no sodium chicken, beef broth and vegetable broth
100% fruit or low sodium vegetable juice
Virgin and extra virgin olive and canola oil

Please note: Frozen food items such as vegetables, beans, and brown rice are welcomed at a limited number of facilities. Please call the organization accepting food donations ahead of time before making this kind of food donation.

*No artificial sweetners, please.

Donations not of use:
Damaged or already opened jars and cans
Food in glass jars
Rusty or unmarked cans of food
Homemade food items
Expired cans and boxed food items
Soda and sweetened drinks
Sweets: cookie, cakes and candy
Ramen noodles
Any food you would not eat or serve your family

   This week's rain storms left the Little Patuxent trail to Savage a mess.

    As had as it was for humans the animals had to endure a dramatic change in their habitat.  These turtles temporarily lost their suning logs.

   Seems like geese have more than two young ones.  I wonder if something may have happened to a couple of other young ones.

     The beaver at Lake Elkhorn seemed to have been flooded out of his home as he was just circling around this beaver dam home.

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