Elizabeth Meyer, 18, is passionate about good health. A senior at Father Tolton High School, she plans to begin a pre-pharmacy healthcare program at Missouri State University this fall. She is also a long time Girl Scout, having joined in kindergarten and since earned both Bronze and Silver Awards.
So when it came time to decide what to do to earn a Gold Award, Elizabeth decided to combine her interests and create a brochure about donating healthier food options to The Food Bank.
“My mom is a dietitian, so we started talking about the need,” she said.
Elizabeth recruited another Girl Scout to help design the brochure and enlisted the help of Hy-Vee to distribute it. The end product is a brochure that encourages people to select salt-free canned vegetables, canned fruit, all-natural peanut butter and other nutritious non-perishable foods when purchasing to donate to The Food Bank. The brochure also reminds shoppers of The Food Bank’s purchasing power and ability to use monetary gifts to buy fresh items—perishable goods that cannot be dropped into food donation barrels.
“The pamphlet will be at Hy-Vee to be used by their customers who would like to purchase healthy food options for The Food Bank,” she said. “This will allow the possibility of a greater selection of food for those who have certain dietary needs.”
Elizabeth spent more than 80 hours on the project to earn the prestigious award. Only 5.4 percent of eligible Girl Scouts earn a Gold Award.
She is expected to receive the award in June, but she hopes her work has a far greater impact on people who rely on The Food Bank for nutrition.
Elizabeth’s brochure comes at a good time for The Food Bank, which created its own push for healthier food drives earlier this year. Like Elizabeth, The Food Bank is asking shoppers to be mindful of health when selecting food to donate.
“Low sodium soups, fruit canned in water instead of syrup—sometimes there are small differences that do not change the price of food but can make a tremendous difference in someone’s diet,” said Lindsay Young Lopez, executive director of The Food Bank. “We so appreciate Elizabeth using her Girl Scout project to help us spread the word about the importance of providing healthy options to our neighbors in need.”