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Need for Healthy Food for Hungry Americans is Urgent and Massive

One in seven Americans relies on soup kitchens and food pantries to survive – a sobering statistic that makes Thanksgiving food drives urgently important. Yet, despite good intentions, people often fail to consider the health of the recipients when they make food drive donations. Colorado-based nonprofit Heaven On Earth NOW has launched a “Think Before You Donate” initiative this year to educate the public on the healthy nonperishables that promote the health of hungry people.

“Too often, the food donated to food drives is junk -- laden with fat, sodium, and sugar,” says Molly G. Cottrill, Executive Director. “Given the high rates of obesity, heart disease, and diabetes among those who are food insecure, we need to better nourish our neighbors with healthier donations.” Heaven on Earth NOW has published a list of Best Foods to Donate on their website, along with other resources to encourage people to give lean proteins, no salt or sugar added vegetables and fruits, as well as whole wheat pasta and cereal, among other items.

The organization’s work transforming food drives was recently featured in an op-ed published by more than 20 of the nation’s media outlets. Working for more than a decade on this education effort, Heaven on Earth NOW volunteers note that donations to food drives increased as much as 83 percent when donors were educated about what to give. “When donors focus on the health of the recipients, their empathy and connection grows and donations increase dramatically,” Cottrill says.

Heaven on Earth NOW is a 501(c)(3) organization whose mission is to swiftly connect angels and resources to feed, house, teach, and honor people in need – in cities and towns across America and around the world. In 2017, the organization fed more than 45,000 people, among other service initiatives. Learn more at

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