Learning to Make the Most of the Food Pantry

The Brookhaven Food Pantry in Grant County is a trusted place for residents to get food for their families. As a client-choice pantry, there are often repeat items, and limited new options for clients to choose. An innovative collaboration between the pantry and Purdue Nutrition Education Program led to the idea of offering classes to help pantry clients get the most out of the items routinely stocked at the pantry.

Working with Nutrition Education Program Advisor Vicki Shafer, Brookhaven began heavy recruitment and promotion for classes. The first session consisted of one class a month for five months. At each class the educator shared tips, tricks, and recipes to create healthy meals from food pantry staples. Each participant in the class was given the seven items used in that lesson’s recipe to take home and prepare for their families as well as a Nutrition Education Program incentive!

The results have been great—participants are sharing details about the classes with others in the pantry waiting room and are excitedly looking forward to the next session. The Purdue Nutrition Education Program is very grateful to Brookhaven Food Pantry for this collaborative project that is helping more Indiana families to provide healthy meals while stretching their food budget dollars.