The Food Bank offers participating member agencies a variety of approaches aimed at helping people develop healthier eating and shopping habits.
Free workshops are offered to Food Bank member agencies and Brown Bag sites on basic nutrition and healthy eating. These workshops are offered to participants of food pantries and meal sites, and at residential and day-program facilities serving special needs groups. Topics include eating well with diabetes, shopping & cooking on a budget, nutrition for seniors, healthy eating for kids & teens, and many more.
These workshops also serve the staff of emergency food programs to:
- guide them in offering better choices to their clients
- help community members at emergency food sites provide more nutritious food to their families
- assist elders at our Brown Bag sites in fulfilling their unique dietary needs
Taste Tests & Healthy Recipes
The Food Bank offers nutrition consultation at food pantries, meal sites, Mobile Food Bank, and Brown Bag programs during food distribution hours. When clients visit agencies for meals or groceries, they can also:
- access resources including basic nutrition tips and healthy meal planning suggestions
- taste healthy recipes prepared with food pantry ingredients
- get recipes for how to combine these ingredients with more whole grains, lean proteins, vegetables, and spices.
Food samplings and recipe outreach benefit pantries by providing tastes of unfamiliar foods along with recipes on how to prepare them at home. This helps pantries to move over-abundant or unusual foods and produce more effectively
The Food Bank offers grocery store tours (in both English and Spanish) using Share Our Strength’s Cooking Matters at the Store® model. Participants learn ways to include more whole grains, fruits and vegetables, and lean proteins in their meal plans, as well as using unit pricing and nutrition labels to make healthier choices while sticking to their budget. At the end of the tour, each participant receives a reusable grocery tote, a booklet filled with healthy recipes & shopping tips and a gift card to use toward the “$10 Challenge” at the end of the tour.
The Food Bank offers ServSafe Manager Certification training courses twice a year to member agencies at a significantly discounted rate, to insure that staffs at food preparation sites have received the required food safety training. In addition, ServSafe Food Handler training is offered throughout the year to all facilities receiving, storing and distributing food.
Outreach to Homeless Families
We work with families temporarily sheltered in local hotels that are experiencing challenges to preparing healthy meals and snacks because they may only have access to a microwave oven and mini fridge. We provide microwave demos and workshops which provide healthy eating tips using inexpensive and easily stored shelf stable foods.