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Tag: Food Pantry

Safe and Healthy Food Pantries

Food pantries help meet the nutrition and health needs for people who are food insecure and low-income who may have chronic diseases such as obesity and diabetes. Without food pantries, many buy inexpensive, unhealthy foods for their families. Food pantry guests are at increased risk for foodborne illness.

Research conducted by the University of Wisconsin shows food pantry guests want more fresh fruits and vegetables, dairy products, turkey, fish, chicken, peanut butter, and eggs. The challenges with offering these foods are many including equipment to store these foods. Food pantries need to make these foods more visible before less healthful foods. Recipes to use the foods will also encourage guests to chose them.

Donors must be mindful of the foods they donate. Establish a nutrition policy to guide donors of needed foods. Providing lists of needed foods helps reduce unwanted donations that may be wasted.

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Food Pantries and Food Safety

No matter if you have full access to food or limited access to food, everyone deserves safe food. While it is difficult to see food wasted, there is no benefit in giving away unsafe food. Here are some signs:

  • Packages crushed, torn, dented, leaking, rusty, punctured, etc.
  • Evidence of insects on packages or in the storage area.
  • Baby food past expiration date.
  • Damaged tamper-resistant seals.
  • Spoilage signs like mold, off odors, slimy food.
  • Cold food that is thawing or warm.
  • Uncertain handling history.

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