We believe that food changes everything. We distribute healthy options to ensure a meal for today and a healthy tomorrow for the people we serve. We prioritize healthy, high-value foods that our neighbors consistently request like fresh fruits and vegetables, lean protein foods and low-fat dairy and limit foods with high amounts of added sugar. We consider the overall nutritional quality of the foods we source and share information about relevant nutrition and health concerns with our partners and the people we serve.
Why Healthy Food Matters
When we asked the people we serve about the foods they want and need food pantries to offer, they said fresh fruits and vegetables, chicken, eggs and milk.
We call these foods high-value foods because they have a high nutritional value and because they are generally more expensive at the grocery store. By providing high-value foods, we ensure that everyone has access to nutritious food, but we also support the long-term health and wellness of communities. This is important because we know that people experiencing food insecurity have a higher risk of developing diet-related chronic diseases like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, type-2 diabetes, overweightness and obesity. Diet-related diseases are diseases that can be prevented, managed or reversed by eating a healthy diet that includes a variety of high-value foods.
of respondents reported that someone in their household struggles with high blood pressure
reported that someone in their household struggles with overweightness or obesity
reported that someone in their household struggles with pre-diabetes or type-2 diabetes
reported that someone in their household struggles with high cholesterol
reported that fresh fruits and vegetables are hard to get in their neighborhood
reported that fresh fruits and vegetables usually cost too much for them to buy
The WIC Farmers Market Nutrition Program (FMNP) and Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP) provide WIC recipients and senior with locally grown fruits, vegetables and herbs from approved farmers’ in Pennsylvania.
Oregon State Extension Food Hero provides family-friendly recipes, activities, cooking videos and other resources in English and Spanish.
The Nutrition Facts Label provides all the nutrition information you need to make healthy choices that are right for you.
The United States Department of Agriculture’s MyPlate is a food guide you can use to fill your plate with a variety of nutritious foods like fruits, vegetables, lean protein, whole grains and low-fat dairy. MyPlate makes it easy for people of all ages to adopt a healthy eating pattern.
Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank works with other food banks across the state to increase healthy food and beverage options available in food pantries and works to encourage consumption of those foods through environmental changes as well as direct nutrition education such as healthy food tastings, demonstrations, recipes and classes.
Adagio Health’s Power Up nutrition education program encourages students, adults, seniors and communities to choose healthier foods and live active lifestyles. Through direct, evidence-based nutrition lessons, participants learn strategies to adopt healthy habits. Power Up educators are working with community partners, like food pantries, to create healthier environments by influencing local policies, systems and environments.