Northwest Harvest Encourages Healthy Donations - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Northwest Harvest Encourages Healthy Donations

YAKIMA, Wash. - Northwest Harvest always needs the community's help in collecting non-perishable food items for people who need them.  But that doesn't mean they don't distribute fresh food as well.

Warehouse Coordinator Lisa Hall says, "A lot of things we get right from the Yakima Valley. Things from stores and outlets."

Fresh and canned fruits and vegetables make up 40% of the food Northwest Harvest distributes.  About 30% is classified as ready-to-eat: including sandwiches, soups, and snacks. Protein, grains and dairy make up the rest.

Hall says nutritious food is particularly important for people who can't afford to be ill or malnourished.  "Good nutrition is a big step towards good health. That's why we really promote that." she says.

And that's also why canned fruits and vegetables tops their list of needed items.  Also included: baby food and formula, pasta, macaroni and cheese, peanut butter, canned meats like chicken and tuna, cereal, chili, soups and stews, and canned or powdered milk.

"We do get ramen." Hall adds.  "And that's okay as a snack.  But that's not a meal.  That's not nutritionally balanced by any stretch of the imagination."