By: Naty Russo, Partner Relations Coordinator
No matter what your income level is, food is a basic need. It’s not easy to go to a food pantry and ask for help. With so many difficult decisions facing the families and individuals served by our network of hunger-relief partners, choosing what to eat should be the easiest of decisions.
“Client choice” food pantries are the right choice for families struggling to make ends meet. Choice pantries essentially allow families to decide what types of food they need instead of receiving a large box of miscellaneous goods. While accepting a pre-packaged food box or bag is greatly appreciated by the individuals served, the ability to choose provides families with a sense of control during difficult times. The power to choose boosts client morale and lowers the shame many feel about going to a food pantry.
In addition, choice pantries will eliminate food waste as they allow for more flexibility with diet restrictions such as allergies or diabetes. In the end less food waste will be economical for both the client and food pantry. Clients have only the foods they’ll need to feed their families and pantries will be able to direct limited resources to better meet the needs of clients. Staff can also empower and educate clients to make responsible food choices.
It’s simple – client choice pantries are the right choice!