Nashville CARES Implements Choice Food Pantry

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Nashville, TN – Beginning November 2012, Nashville CARES will offer its first ever Choice Food Pantry.  This new program provides clients with a menu and a food pantry points system.  Each month clients are provided with a traditional food bag that includes beans, canned meat, canned vegetables, canned fruit, breakfast cereal, milk and juice.  The  new Choice Food Pantry points system allows clients to use their monthly points to acquire items at a higher price point that have not previously been offered in food bags.  These items include eggs, flour, cooking oil, a variety of canned meats and some name brand breakfast cereals.  Each food item on the menu will be assigned a point value relative to cost and clients will be given 12 points each month.


The purpose of the new Choice Food Pantry is to allow clients to tailor the pantry service to their personal needs.  The Choice Food Pantry permits clients to choose diversity rather than volume of food and vice versa.  Clients are encouraged to select food items from each of the USDA recommended food groups. Nashville CARES offers Nutrition 101 to educate clients about nutrition while volunteers encourage diverse choices.


“I’m really proud that we’re able to meet the individual needs of clients and make our direct services more relevant to clients today.  I’m also really excited to see the program grow,” said Amy Smith, Nashville CARES Nutrition Services Coordinator.


We hope the new Choice Food Pantry will result in greater product satisfaction for clients and cut down on any waste from items in regular food bags that are not widely utilized by some clients.