About Pennsylvania Healthy Pantry Initiative (PA HPI)
Through the Pennsylvania Healthy Pantry Initiative (PA HPI), Feeding Pennsylvania works with our member food banks to increase healthy food and beverage options available in food pantries. In addition to increasing access to nutritious food, nutrition educators will work at the pantries to encourage consumption of those foods through environmental changes as well as direct nutrition education such as healthy food tastings, demonstrations, recipes, classes, etc.
Pennsylvania Healthy Pantry Initiative (PA HPI) and a partnership with PA Eats
Given the health risks associated with food insecurity, Feeding Pennsylvania was interested in finding a way to bridge the gap to help improve the health of food insecure individuals and families. With this problem came an amazing opportunity with the help of PA Eats by using the food pantry to promote nutrition. In partnership with PA Eats, we developed the Nourish PA video series to educate food-insecure Pennsylvanians on how to prepare simple, accessible meals with affordable, healthy ingredients commonly found in food pantries. The videos and recipes are created by PA Eats and promoted and distributed through Feeding Pennsylvania’s HPI participating pantries.
The Process: The Behind the Scenes of our Partnership
- Feeding PA Registered Dietician provided guidance on recipe criteria (number of ingredients, common ingredients, nutrition, etc.)
- Nutrition educators worked with PA HPI pantries to provide a current list of ingredients available at pantries needing promotion.
- PA Eats recruited volunteer chefs.
- PA Eats communicated with potential donors on sponsorship.
- Volunteer chefs created recipes based on the criteria and ingredients identified.
- Recipes and images were provided to Feeding PA and videos were created for select recipes.
- Recipes and videos were distributed directly to PA HPI pantries and through the feedingpa.org/hpi website
The Impact: Initial Impacts of Feeding Pennsylvania and PA Eats Partnership
With over 2,700 PA food pantries actively distributing food, this partnership helps fill the gap to this crucial need in providing educational resources to pantry clients. It allows Feeding Pennsylvania to teach their clients how to create nourishing meals with the food they receive.
- 9 volunteer chefs
- $35,000 donated by sponsors
- 7 Nourish PA recipe videos created
- 21 recipes developed, including a 12-recipe kid-friendly series
- Monthly the videos received about 1,000 hits per video on the website
- Recipes printed and distributed to about 25 pantries
- 34 pantries provided digital access to recipes and recipes made available to the public
- Promotion of food assistance on PA Eats platform
With more and more information being offered virtually, these resources are so valuable to the PA Healthy Pantry Initiative. Over the course of the next several years, PA HPI will expand to work with at least 95 pantries throughout the state. PA Eats will continue to collaborate with Feeding PA to recruit chefs and receive sponsorships to create recipes, videos, and other digital content.
For more information on the Pennsylvania Healthy Pantry Initiative (PA HPI), please visit: https://www.feedingpa.org/hpi/
* Funding provided by the Pennsylvania Department of Health through the Preventive Health and Health Services Block Grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.