For most people, fasting is an occasional choice, but for many people hunger is a year-round reality, according to LSU AgCenter nutritionist Dr. Annrose Guarino. She offers ways to help alleviate hunger.
One option is to make a food basket. Use the USDA Food Guide Pyramid to help you decide what to include and to help families eat a balanced diet, Guarino advises.
"It is essential that we eat foods from the Bread, Cereal, Rice and Pasta Group; Vegetable Group, Fruit Group; Milk, Yogurt and Cheese Group; and Meat, Poultry, Fish, Dry Beans, Eggs and Nuts Group," the nutritionist says. She cautions, however, to consume foods in the Fats, Oils and Sweets Group in moderation.
You can include an assortment of items, or a "menu" of foods. According to USDA, the following recommended amounts will feed a family of four for one week.
• Canned items: 4 cans meat/fish/poultry; 3 cans pork and beans; 4 cans soup; 10 cans assorted vegetables; 4 cans fruit; 1 large can orange or other fruit juice; 6 cans tomato sauce; 3 cans evaporated milk.
• Bagged/boxed items: 3 packages dried beans; 5 pounds rice; 3 boxes macaroni and cheese; 3 boxes dry cereal; 1 box oatmeal or grits; 1 large box of bread mix or flour and cornmeal; 1 package spaghetti or elbow macaroni; 1 large box powdered milk; 1 box graham crackers; 1 box crackers.
• Other: 4 or 5 boxes flavored gelatin; 1 large jar peanut butter; 1 large jar jelly; 2 large loaves of bread.
• Condiments: salt, pepper, mayonnaise, mustard.
• Perishables: 1 dozen eggs; 1 pound margarine.
If you decide to include perishable foods, remember refrigerated or frozen foods will spoil if not kept cold. Keep them refrigerated until time of delivery. Deliver when someone is home and can refrigerate perishables.
For local information and educational programs in related areas of family and consumer sciences, including nutrition and health, parenting and family economics, visit the Food and Health section of the LSU AgCenter's Web site at http://www.lsuagcenter.com/en/food_health/.
The LSU AgCenter and the LSU College of Agriculture