The agency toolbox includes many of the resources you will need to have a successful food pantry.
If you need additional information or have questions or concerns, please contact us and an agency team member will be in touch.
Partner Agency Monthly Report
This is the brand new monthly report that every agency must fill out each month. Begin using this report with the July 2016 report that is due on August 1, 2016.
Household Distribution Form
This is a brand new form designed to work with the brand new monthly partner agency report. Begin using this form in July 2016 and start a new form every July because we start counting all over again each July. This is not a Self Declaration of Income form. SDI’s are only available from Cathy Davis.
Food Rescue Report
Use this report to record the poundage of the product you pick up from the various outlets to which you are assigned.
Food Rescue Report – Electronic
Use this report to record the poundage of the product you pick up from the various outlets to which you are assigned. This is an Excel file that automatically populates various fields.
USDA Monthly Report
This is the inventory report that our USDA agencies must fill out each month.
Use this log to record the temperatures of your freezers and refrigerators. The freezer should be below zero degrees fahrenheit and the refrigerator should be between 32 and 40 degrees fahrenheit. It is recommended that the temperatures be checked at least three times a week.
Freezer Blanket Flyer
All agencies that access frozen or chill items must have a cooler or a freezer blanket to transport these items back to your site. This is not optional – it is a matter of food safety. If you wish to order a freezer blanket, we have them available at a discounted price through Feeding America. Contact Donna or Adam at 627-6599 to order yours today!
2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans www.health.gov/dietaryguidelines/
This site includes the full guidelines which provide research-based advice about how good dietary habits can promote health and reduce the risk for major chronic diseases. They also serve as the basis for federal food and nutrition education programs.
Fruits and Veggies Matter www.fruitsandveggiesmatter.gov
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website provides benefits, tips, recipes, and recommendations for fruit and vegetable intakes for all ages.
Product Recalls www.fda.gov/safety/recalls/default.htm
Food Safety and Inspection Service www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics
Asking for food assistance in America is a difficult decision for people. As organizations who seek to serve children, seniors and families in need in our community, we should attempt to make our clients’ experience as dignified and empowering as possible. We all enjoy exercising choice in our daily lives, so pantry clients should also be able to choose what foods they would like to eat and will be able to use. Research suggests that if people are given arbitrary selections of food without regard to their needs, tastes, habits, traditions, abilities, and circumstances, up to half the food given will not be consumed by intended beneficiaries.By giving clients items that they neither want nor can use, valuable food resources in the community are wasted.
One of the most cost effective ways to reduce waste and humiliation is through Client Choice. Converting your pantry to Client Choice is EASY! It simply means people can CHOOSE what they need and want. The food pantry is set up like a little grocery store. A variety of food and non-food items (think hygiene and cleaning products) are organized. People browse the shelves and choose the items they NEED. If there is a popular item, it is OK to put limits on how many a family can take. Otherwise, food pantries should permit clients to pick out what they want and need without further direction. This is by far the “best practice” method of running a food pantry.
Common Misconceptions & Roadblocks:
- I don’t have enough space…
You don’t need much space at all. A client choice pantry can be the size of a small closet. It doesn’t have to be elaborate. If you don’t have a storage space, you can put items on tables and still let people choose.
- I don’t have enough volunteers…
Running a client choice pantry actually requires LESS volunteers because you don’t have to pre-pack those bags yourself. You can run a client choice pantry with only ONE volunteer.
- I don’t have enough food…
You will actually have more food because people are only going to take what they want and need. None of the food in your pantry will be wasted. You will be able to utilize the food bank more because you won’t have to worry about stocking and having specific items.
The Foodbank Can Help You…
- Tour a client choice pantry & learn from your peers.
- Give you ideas on how to organize your space.
- Even a very limited amount of choice is better than having no choice at all.
- Be creative.
- Get feedback from your clients.
- Call us for help.
If you are shopping at a wholesale market for additional items for your food pantry, you can save money by purchasing products directly from the Foodbank.
At the Foodbank, we are aware that we cannot get enough of certain high demand items donated. Therefore, we purchase a limited menu of items and make them available to our agencies at a cost much lower than average retail. These items help supplement the donated product we receive and tend to be staple items that most families need (e.g., rice, beans, peanut butter, etc.) Have a specific need? Then make sure you attend our Agency Advisory Council. We often ask the members to give us their input into what we should purchase.
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