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Twin Cities food shelf says no to junk food

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The Eagan & Lakeville Resource Center is changing the way food shelves operate with a new policy regarding junk food, the Pioneer Press reports.

The resource center last month started setting aside foods with "low or no nutritional value" as ramen noodles, bakery goods and other foods deemed unhealthy, and for about three weeks were trashing them.

Since then, those foods have been going to the Salvation Army, thanks to a waiver in the Second Harvest Heartland's policy to allow donated food to be shared between food shelves.

The resource center's "Healthy Food Policy" also prohibits canned pasta, chips, pastries, pop, candy and sugar-added beverages.

The director of programs at New Hope's Emergency Foodshelf Network tells the Pioneer Press is the "most comprehensive" among the ones she knows of.

Since then, the organization has created their own policy to determine the types of nutritious foods to purchase and distribute to food shelves and healthy food policy recently that specifies the types of nutritious foods it seeks to purchase and distribute to food shelves and other partners.

The Associated Press reports that food shelves have found the idea of offering healthier options challenging because of the high costs of such foods as produce.

According to Hunger Solutions Minnesota, the state's 300 food shelves had more than 3 million visits last year.

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