The Food Pantry is about to undergo some changes. The process of transitioning the food pantry into a Client Choice Food Pantry has begun.
An effort to be proactive
For 50 years the pantry has used a traditional method where clients come in monthly, verify how many members are in their household, and were provided with food that our staff and volunteers have selected. In an effort to be proactive and to provide the best service to our clients we are making the switch to the Client Choice model.
Empowering clients and reducing food waste
Nationwide, food pantries are moving to the Client Choice model because it is empowering to the clientele and reduces food waste. Instead of receiving food that was chosen by someone else, clients are able to go into the food pantry and choose the food that will best serve their family. This in turn reduces food waste once the food leaves the pantry. If a household has food they like, much less food will go to waste.
When families are choosing their food, they will have a budget to follow. Budgeting can be done many ways. The most popular way is to give the family a dollar amount they can spent- based on how many people are in their household. A dollar value is assigned to items in the pantry based loosely on how much they would cost from the store. This not only ensures that households receive an appropriate supplement, but also instills basic budgeting skills. This allows families who receive benefits like SNAP (food stamps) to leverage their SNAP benefits, typical grocery shopping, and food pantry to get items that provide a well-rounded diet.
Ability to leverage benefits
Eligibility for the food pantry program remains the same. Clients will still be able to receive food pantry once a month and will be able to get the same amount of food they are used to, they will just end up with more useful food.
As we prepare for this switch, we want to ensure the best possible experience for everyone involved. At the top of our concerns is safety for volunteers, clients, and staff while working in the pantry. Formerly, the pantry had plastic non wall-mounted shelving. Introducing more people will mean more opportunities for shelving to fall and injure someone. We want our pantry to be safe for everyone. Security State Bank has heard our plea and has done a complete remodel of the shelving! We are so grateful to this incredible group and so excited to share with you the impact they will undoubtedly have at the Council. Read more about Security State Bank in this month’s Community Spotlight.
We are excited about this change and what it will mean for clients, volunteers, and our ability to better serve those in need.