Healthy Food Pantry Conversion
and Co-Location Project
The Healthy Pantry Conversion project involves improving the availability and promotion of healthy foods such as fresh produce, protein sources, whole grains and low sodium choices into local food pantries. This project supports the implementation of sustainable, low and no-cost strategies that affect the food pantry environment by utilizing merchandising equipment like shelving, baskets, produce displays, signage, and the rearrangement of pantry space and layout – to support the promotion, selection and consumption of healthy foods
View all Food Pantry Locations
Esssex County Heath Department
Cornell Cooperative Extension
UVMHN Elizabethtown Community Hospital
Hub on the Hill
Healthy Choice Signage
Visiting the food pantry isn’t like visiting the grocery store; clients don’t always have the time or ability to look over nutrition labels or choose from different options. Having the Healthy Choice signs makes it much easier for clients to choose healthy options because it on display for them in a clear manner. All of the pantries involved utilize the healthy choice signage and clients have indicated that it makes it easier for them to choose the healthier options since they don’t have to think twice about it.
Dietary Restrictions Checklists
The Well Fed Collaborative has created dietary guideline checklists to help clients in the pantries that have dietary restrictions or guidelines to follow. These lists are available for both food pantry volunteers for reference while clients are at the pantry, or for clients to take home and reference in daily life. Checklists were created for the following restrictions: high blood pressure, dental sensitivity, diabetes, gluten-free, homelessness and heart disease. These checklists cover all categories of food choices including: fruits, vegetables, dairy, grains, proteins, fats/oils, and beverages.
The Well Fed Collaborative has organized a number of cooking demonstrations at three partnering food pantries throughout the year, teaching clients of the pantries how to cook healthy foods for a low cost and utilizing local food when possible. Cooking demonstrations could be as simple as teaching clients how to make homemade salad dressing which often saves money and calories, or as complex as preparing a full dinner but utilizing easily available foods from the pantry such as canned beans or tomato sauce.