More than a dozen students and faculty from UW-Green Bay and St. Norbert College joined in a multi-disciplinary community service and research data project on Saturday, Oct. 20,during the Boy Scout food drive collection held at the Lambeau Field parking lot.
The volunteer team recorded the amounts of fat, sodium, sugar, and fiber, and the expiration dates of almost 1,000 food items that were donated to the food drive. The food donations were then distributed, in customary fashion, to the local Green Bay area food pantries. The faculty/student project was an outgrowth of the Helping the Brown County Community Health Improvement Process and Plan (CHIPPs) and the Adequate, Appropriate, Safe Food and Nutrition subcommittee,
UW-Green Bay faculty participants (Profs. Le Zhu, Human Biology and Dietetics; Sarah Himmelheber, Professional Programs in Social Work; and Janet Reilly, Professional Program in Nursing) note that assessing the quality, safety and pattern of food donations is critical to assure access to healthy diets for low-income families. Foods that are high in sugar and fat, for example, are called high-energy dense foods. In other words, these foods provide large amounts of dietary energy at a low cost, but provide lesser nutritional value and increase the risk of developing serious lifelong health issues, like obesity, diabetes type II and heart disease. Public education sessions are planned for area Green Bay citizens to explain the results of these data and to encourage appropriate and safe donations of high nutritional quality.