Jimmy Howell, assistant manager of Bolivar’s Food Giant, and Stephanie Middleton recently set up a bin for food donations near the front of the store.

Food Giant Helps Hardeman Healthy Outreach

University of Tennessee Extension’s Hardeman Healthy Outreach (H2O) worked in food distribution during the pandemic. Now as food pantries are reopening, H2O has partnered with Bolivar’s Food Giant to collect canned foods to help the pantries restock their shelves—especially with options to help patrons watch their sodium and sugar.
“People who use food pantries may also have high blood pressure or diabetes. We’re hoping to help the pantries restock with these options,” said Stephanie Middleton, UT Extension program assistant. “Middleton First United Methodist Church is in the process of shifting to a choice food pantry meaning that patrons can choose from among the food groups. For example, a family of two might get four vegetables. Instead of accepting what is already boxed for them, they will be able to select four of the available vegetables,” she continued.
Bolivar’s Food Giant is accepting donations of canned items in a large receptacle near the front of the store. The receptacle will be available through at least the end of June. Donations will be shared with sites throughout the county depending on the amount received.
In addition to lower-sodium vegetables and no-sugar added fruits, other needed items include peanut butter and canned or dried beans that add protein to the diet. Brown and white rice and staple foods are requested.
For more information on helping restock food pantries or to host the donation receptacle, contact Stephanie Middleton at UT Extension (658-2421). Hardeman Healthy Outreach is funded by the CDC’s High Obesity Program (HOP) through The University of Tennessee Extension to improve access to food and physical activity opportunities throughout Hardeman County. For more information, go to @BeMoreHardeman on Facebook.