February is Canned Food Month and Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee is always thankful to have a variety of canned food available for clients!
While Second Harvest is able (and eager!) to receive and distribute perishable and frozen foods, canned foods are synonymous with food banking. When people think about helping to stock a pantry, most likely they think of canned foods.
At its core, food banking is about rescuing surplus food, and diverting it to those who need it. Canning and preserving is crucial to that process. People have been experimenting with preserving food since the early 1800s, and the metal can has been used since about 1810.
The first American canning factory was established in 1812. World War I saw a huge increase in demand for canned food worldwide, and competing companies developed into the modern industry we know today.
Second Harvest Food Bank also maintains our own social enterprise, Project Preserve, that provides low-cost canned foods to 130 other food banks across the country.
Some of the reasons we love sharing canned foods with our partner agencies and clients:
- Canned food offers comparable nutrition to fresh and frozen.
- Canned foods are minimally processed.
- Contrary to popular belief, canned veggies are NOT loaded with preservatives.
- You can watch your sodium intake AND use/eat/cook with canned foods.
- Cans are among the safest forms of food packaging.
- Therefore…canned foods have a long shelf life!