Diabetic Food Box Contains Traditional Foods

Most people know about the Community Food Bank’s Emergency Food Boxes, but few are aware of the Diabetic Food Box program. Imagine being diabetic and having a food crisis at the same time. It could be life-threatening. CFB has collaborated with Catholic Community Services to distribute Diabetic Food Boxes in Southern Arizona.

Mel MacLeod, Value Foods Store Manager at CFB, buys food items that are sugar-free and high in complex carbohydrates from national brokers. She has developed special relationships with food brokers who scan labels of potential products and send them to her for analysis of content and nutritional value.

Even though Mel works with national brokers such as CIS, Richfield Farms, and the Chef Maxwell Line, one of the most important foods in the Diabetic Box comes from right here in Tucson: tepary beans from the Tohono O’Odham Nation. Tepary beans are native to the Americas, growing vigorously in hot, arid climates. They are a traditional food of the Tohono O’Odham and provide a diabetes-preventative function by helping keep blood sugar even throughout the day.

Recently, the Tohono O’odham Nation contracted with the Community Food Bank to provide fifty adults with Diabetic Food Boxes as part of their Healthy Living program. These Diabetic Food Box recipients are enrolled in diabetes education and referred by a physician.

For more information, please contact Mel MacLeod 622-0525 Ext. 203.