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How is the pandemic affecting the way you eat?

Putting food on the table is a struggle many are facing because of the pandemic. Researchers are studying how the pandemic has affected eating habits.

A study from the University of Florida followed 3,000 people and found it didn’t matter where their food was coming from. While people ate more foods high in carbohydrates, fats, salts and sugar, the shift was not dramatic.

Jeanette Andrade, an assistant professor at the University of Florida, said people ate food that made them feel better.

“If you think about it, I mean, if you’re at home, maybe you’re not going to grab an apple that’s sitting on the counter, maybe you’re like, you know what, that piece of chocolate cake looks very tempting,” Andrade said.

Researchers also found people were purchasing foods that had a longer shelf life to avoid a lot of grocery store runs. Meaning, fruits and veggies were not a priority.

While the pandemic affected how we shop for food, it’s also increased the need for food banks.

Many food banks are struggling to keep up with demand. Vegetables and fruits tend to me more expensive.

Richard LeBer, president and CEO of the Harry Chapin Food Bank, said they are spending about $1 million in food each month.

Seasonal workers and those struggling to find a job are in need.

The best way to help, LeBer said, is through monetary donations.

“We need that support always,” he said. “And we’re so grateful for the thousands, literally, of folks who support us every month.”

Volunteers are also needed to pack food kits and to sort products are the group’s warehouses, LeBer said.

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For more information on the Harry Chapin Food Back, you can check their website here.

Reporter:Gail Levy
Writer:Melissa Montoya
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