Healthy Food Access

Are you a food pantry looking to make healthy changes for your clients?

Learn about food pantry strategies to help make the healthy choice the easy choice!

Connect with your local Healthy Food Access Specialist for coaching and resources.

Partner with your local food bank.

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box of food

Market Healthy Foods

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diverse hands

Create an Inclusive Pantry

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shelves of food pantry

Structure the Food Pantry

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box of donated food

Increase Healthy Donations

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Client choice

Client choice has many benefits for volunteers and clients. Learn more about the different models of client choice and how to implement them in your pantry.

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Include all food groups

Each food group provides nutrients essential to good health. Discover the benefits of providing all five food groups in your pantry.

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Ways to incorporate gardening

Gardening is good for the mind, body, and soul. Learn ways to incorporate gardening into your food pantry.

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Forms of fruits and veggies

Fruits and vegetables are important for health. Learn how to provide different forms of produce in your pantry.

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Colors of fruits and veggies

Eating a rainbow of fruits and vegetables makes for a colorful plate! Find out the importance of a variety of colors in your food pantry.

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Fall produce

Using fall produce, like squash and pumpkin, can be intimidating. Learn how to prepare and enjoy fall produce.

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Food sampling

Some food items are hard to turn over. Discover the benefits of food sampling for these foods.

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Nudges

Nudges promote healthy foods with positive messages. Discover how to use nudges in your food pantry.

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Food bundling

Are your clients worried about knowing what to do with the same food items? Food bundling can help.

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Recipes in the food pantry

Some pantry items are in excess or move slowly off the shelves. Discover how recipes can help!

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Organizing a food pantry

How you set up a food pantry matters! Find out why and how to organize your food pantry to promote health.

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Specific food sections

Some food pantry clients have specific dietary needs. Discover how to label and arrange specific food sections.

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Nutrition education for volunteers

Pantry volunteer onboarding is important. Discover this quick nutrition education video for volunteers to include in your onboarding!

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Food safety

Food safety is important in your food pantry. Learn about food safety and how to create a food safety policy.

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Nutrition policy

Pantries are starting to create nutrition policies to ensure healthy foods are available for clients. See examples and learn about nutrition policies.

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Additional ISU Extension resources

Iowa State University Extension and Outreach provides free resources to help equip your food pantry. Discover all the resources.

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Community resource center

Food pantries can help clients connect with assistance resources. Discover how to create a community resource center.

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Nutrition education for food pantry clients

Iowa State University Extension and Outreach offers free nutrition education classes for food pantry clients in person and virtually.

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Inclusivity in the food pantry

Food pantry clients come from a wide variety of backgrounds. Discover considerations to create a more inclusive pantry.

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Client-focused food pantries

Clients are at the heart of food pantries. Discover how to create a more client-focused food pantry.

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Diverse proteins

Protein is important for a healthy diet. Discover diverse protein options to offer in your pantry.

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Incorporating cultural foods

Food pantry clients represent a wide variety of cultures. Discover how to stock your pantry with culturally appropriate foods.

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Healthy food pantry donations

A list of requested pantry items is helpful for your pantry and donors. Discover the bilingual healthy food pantry donation guide.

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Conducting a food drive

Food drives can benefit schools, organizations, businesses, and groups leading the collection and your food pantry. Learn how to conduct an effective community donation drive.

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This material was funded by USDA's Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program — SNAP.  It was developed by Iowa State University (ISU) Extension and Outreach in partnership with the Iowa Department of Health and Human Services. ISU is an equal opportunity provider and employer. For the full non-discrimination statement or accommodation inquiries, go to www.extension.iastate.edu/diversity/ext.