Submitted by American Egg Board
Park Ridge, Ill., March 7 /PRNewswire/ -- According to recent research by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), 12.6 million American households are food insecure, finding it difficult to provide enough food for their family members.(1) Recognizing that nutritious foods are often hard to come by for these families, America's egg producers are donating more than 12 million eggs, one of the highest quality protein foods available, this month to America's Second Harvest -- The Nation's Food Bank Network, which is the largest hunger-relief organization in the United States.
"We are extremely grateful to America's egg producers for their significant donation of more than 12 million eggs to our food bank members across the nation," said Vicki Escarra, president and CEO of America's Second Harvest -- The Nation's Food Bank Network. "This donation could not have come at a better time, as many of our food bank members are currently struggling with low inventories, while facing a sharp increase in demand for emergency food."
The donation will provide food-insecure Americans with much needed
high-quality protein, which helps kids and adults build muscle strength, helps older adults prevent muscle loss, and may also promote weight management. "Protein is always the hardest food category for our food banks to acquire, and a donation of this magnitude will go a long way in helping the more than 25 million Americans we serve -- men, women and children who are living on the edge of hunger," said Escarra.
Egg producers from across the country, through commitments made to United Egg Producers, will participate in the donation, with most of the eggs being delivered to America's Second Harvest in the two to three weeks prior to Easter. "Egg demand is highest during the Easter holiday," said Joanne Ivy, president and CEO of the American Egg Board. "A donation of this size during the Easter season is a true indication of egg producers' dedication to providing American families with the important nutrients they need to stay nourished and energized throughout the day."
In addition to providing American families with a natural, unprocessed source of high-quality protein, eggs and their nutrients offer a host of benefits:
-- Nutrient Density: Eggs are all natural and have 13 essential vitamins and minerals, high-quality protein, healthy unsaturated fats and antioxidants, for only 70 calories each.
-- Healthy Pregnancy: Egg yolks are an excellent source of choline, an essential nutrient that contributes to fetal brain development and helps prevent birth defects.
-- Brain Function: Choline also helps maintain the structure of brain cell membranes and is a key component of the neurotransmitter that helps relay messages from the brain through nerves to the muscles.
-- Eye Health: Lutein and zeaxanthin, two antioxidants found in egg yolks, help prevent macular degeneration, a leading cause of age-related blindness.
-- All Day Energy: Studies show that eggs provide energy without causing a spike in blood glucose or insulin levels, thereby helping people feel full longer and more energized.
For more information on the American Egg Board, visit http://www.IncredibleEgg.org. For more information on the nutritional benefits of eggs, visit the Egg Nutrition Center at http://www.enc-online.org.
About the American Egg Board (AEB)
AEB is the U.S. egg producer's link to the consumer in communicating the value of The incredible edible egg(TM) and is funded from a national legislative checkoff on all egg production from companies with greater than 75,000 layers, in the continental United States. The board consists of 18 members and 18 alternates from all regions of the country who are appointed by the Secretary of Agriculture. The AEB staff carries out the programs under the board direction. AEB is located in Park Ridge, Ill. Visit http://www.incredibleegg.org for more information.
About the Egg Nutrition Center (ENC)
The Egg Nutrition Center (ENC) is the health education and research center of the American Egg Board. Established in 1979, ENC provides science-based information to health promotion agencies, physicians, dietitians, nutritional scientists, media and consumers on issues related to egg nutrition and the role of eggs in the American diet. ENC is located in Washington, DC. Visit http://www.enc-online.org for more information.
About America's Second Harvest -- The Nation's Food Bank Network
America's Second Harvest -- The Nation's Food Bank Network is the largest charitable domestic hunger-relief organization in the United States. Through its network of more than 200 member food banks, America's Second Harvest annually provides assistance to more than 25 million people in need, including more than 9 million children and nearly 3 million seniors in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Each year, America's Second Harvest secures and distributes more than 2 billion pounds of food and grocery products to support feeding programs at approximately 50,000 local charitable agencies, including food pantries, soup kitchens, emergency shelters, after-school programs, and Kids Cafes. To learn more, please visit http://www.secondharvest.org.
(1) Nord, Mark, M. Andrews, and S. Carlson. November 2007. Household Food Security in the United States, 2006. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service. Available at http://www.ers.usda.gov/publications/err49.
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