I am a failed attempt at going vegetarian. No matter how hard I tried, the temptation of eating meat was too strong for me to fight.

At the age of 15, I decided to go vegetarian. I was only a vegetarian for eight months due to the environment around me making being a vegetarian difficult. Being only 15 years old, I still relied on my parents to buy my food. Luckily my parents were very supportive of my decision to temporarily become vegetarian, and even went out of their way to make sure I would have the proper nutrients needed.

Fruits and vegetables played a crucial part in me receiving those nutrients. What about those who do not have the proper access to affordable, quality fruits and vegetables? Fruits and vegetables are growing to become unbelievably expensive in every community across the nation.

Fruits and vegetables are considered a necessary food group and it is crucial that communities have access to affordable, safe fruits and vegetables. Since 2008, fruit and vegetable prices have gone up by 6%. Although that raise may not seem like a great increase, it impacts how often a person will purchase fruits and vegetables. This increase impacts those in lower-income households greatly.

If someone can purchase another food item with a higher quantity that is cheaper than the fruits and vegetables, nine times out of 10 the person will choose the other food choice present.

Wholesome Wave is a nonprofit organization whose main goal is to make nutrition insecurity regarding fruits and vegetables nonexistent. Their mission is to close the nutrition gap with affordable fruits and vegetables in low-income households.

This organization uses a produce prescription program, which allows healthcare providers to prescribe fruits and vegetables to patients to aid in preventing diet-related diseases.

It is super easy to get involved with this organization. On their website, wolesomewave.org, you can insert your information to receive more information on how to help your surrounding community. You can also donate to this organization straight from the website.

There is not one specific solution to making fruits and vegetables cheaper, but there are many options. An easy solution to this problem is to simply make fruits and vegetables cheaper. As food prices go up, fewer and fewer people will purchase what they believe to be non-necessary foods.

Thousands of pieces of fruits and vegetables are wasted every day. If one grocery store donated all the fruits and vegetables gone “bad” at the end of every week, thousands of people would have the adequate access to fruits and vegetables. Even you can help make fruits and vegetables more accessible to those that need it. Donating unused or unwanted food is a quick and easy way to help your surrounding community. The price of food is skyrocketing, which is putting much of the community at a disadvantage. This needs to be changed to allow one to live a healthy life.

Ashleigh Foosness is a resident of Winchester. 

(11) comments

cactusandpearls

Great piece! The website is www.wholesomewave.org

Doc Samson

Great sentiment! I wish we had a "mandate" forcing kids to NOT throw away all the fruits and veggies that are given to them in school, in favor of the latest bag of junk snacks. The trash cans are usually full of perfectly good, healthy food at the end of lunch. Where my Pr0g crew at on this??? [lol]

Alsochristie

Many schools encourage students to donate foods they don’t want to eat to a table in the cafeteria where it is gathered, refrigerated, and donated daily to those in need. Everyday there is a large collection of fresh fruit and milk that are mandated parts of the school lunch that go to those who need it. Students are diligent about contributing unwanted food. These daily food collections are common in schools in Fairfax. They are easy to organize, requiring only a refrigerator to hold the food while awaiting pickup/delivery.

Do some research, Doc Samson. Your constant attempted insults at a supposed “Pr0g crew” fall flat on examination. Please park your prejudices and look for the reality in situations before tossing out insults.

Catherine Giovannoni

This past legislative session, Democrat Danica Roem introduced legislation to, inter alia, allow students to take home food leftover from school lunch preparation and to prohibit school officials from forcing students to throw away food already served. Virginia's legislature passed these measures. Great idea to make healthy food available for Virginia's students and families instead of wasting it.

Doc Samson

"Do some research, Doc Samson..." Oh, my! Could it be that I've watched it with my very own eyes, for years? Nah, that's just crazy talk!

Spock Here

Many creative and teachable moments here, some people just like to ignore those. And also dismiss....as do many lunch ladies...that cutting whole fruit is hard, if not impossible, for younger kids. Eating a hard plum in the middle of February is impossible for most. Have a teacher or other staff help them cut up the apples and oranges. Have a classroom contribution table, and make something, like a salad, out of the bounty as a class project. Kids who participate in their food are more likely to eat it. Bad ideas? Maybe. Better than constantly complaining about it, and the "pr0gs'' in the opinion pages of the local paper.

Doc Samson

Wow. Some good ideas there and I know some teachers that have tried those types of things. It may make a difference for a few but the vast majority (and it doesn't seem to matter the grade level or school system) prefer the junk food the parents send with them. You can't legislate healthy eating and, again, it just results in a ton of wasted fruit/veggies...

TheOneAndOnlyNuri

Oh, like Michelle Obama's school lunch program that tried to make the one guaranteed meal a school aged kid would get every day more nutritious? You know, the one regressives decried as government overreach and a pointless crusade of a fake president's wife?

Doc Samson

Exactly! Potato got one! High five! Point? You can't mandate what kids eat and, when you try, you end up with a whole lot of nutritious "garbage"...

My goodness, your ironic stupidity really knows no bounds does it?

Bose-Einstein

So cool, Doc advocating for a mandate for food consumption. Where is your support for mandates for life saving vaccines? Oh yes, that is government overreach. Potato

Doc Samson

Wow. You all never fail to fail, do you? I was pointing out (or trying to do so), through wit and intellect, that mandates DO NOT WORK! Yikes. Does anyone on the Pr0g-Left possess a sense of humor? Or comprehension skills beyond a 1st grader? Good grief. [rolleyes]

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