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.
Household Intake Form
This form will help you log the individuals and households that come through your pantry. This will help you total the numbers for your monthly report. You are not required to submit this form. only submit monthly reports for the programs you participate in.
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
Our partner agencies who participate in the TEFAP program are required to fill out this form each month. This institution is an equal opportunity employer.
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 t least three times per week. USDA agencies are required to submit this every month.
Food Safety Training
It is time to renew your Food Safety certification! For your convenience, we have provided a virtual training video and written exam that can be accessed directly from this page. You have the option to complete the written exam virtually (your answer will be sent directly to the Foodbank) or by downloading a copy and turning it in to the Agency and Program Services department either via email or in person.
Civil Rights Training
This institution is an equal opportunity employer.
In accordance with federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex (including gender identity and sexual orientation), disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity. Program information may be made available in languages other than English. Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication to obtain program information (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language), should contact the responsible state or local agency that administers the program or USDA’s TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TTY) or contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339.
To file a program discrimination complaint, a Complainant should complete a Form AD-3027, USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form which can be obtained online here, from any USDA office, by calling (866) 632-9992, or by writing a letter addressed to USDA. The letter must contain the complainant’s name, address, telephone number, and a written description of the alleged discriminatory action in sufficient detail to inform the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights (ASCR) about the nature and date of an alleged civil rights violation. The completed AD-3027 form or letter must be submitted to USDA by:
- Mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights – 1400 Independence Avenue, SW Washington, D.C. 20250-9410
- Fax: (833)256-1665 or (202) 690 7442
- Or Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The program standards are applied without discrimination by race, color, national origin, age, sex, or disability.
Annual Civil Rights Training
All staff and volunteers who assist with the meal service at our USDA sponsored Kids Cafes are required to complete this Annual Civil Rights Training, by viewing this video and taking this test. Please make sure to include your name and the name of the Kids Cafe you work at on the exam.
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 All-Agency Meetings or join our Agency Advisory Council. We ask out agencies to give us their input into what we should pruchase.