HPI Success Story with Second Harvest Food Bank of NWPA

About Union City Food Pantry

Union City Food Pantry is a partner agency of the Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest Pennsylvania. As a food pantry, they help provide much needed food and supplies for community members in need and provide food for families who find themselves in emergency situations.

PA Healthy Pantry Initiative (PA HPI) and a partnership with Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest Pennsylvania

The Pennsylvania Healthy Pantry Initiative (PA HPI) is a project of Feeding Pennsylvania in partnership with the Pennsylvania Department of Health. Through these partnerships, Feeding PA is working with its member food banks to increase access to healthy food within food pantries and increase consumption of healthy food by pantry clients through various promotion methods. Seven nutrition educators have been hired across the state to work directly with the food pantries in their service areas.

Union City pantry has experienced many changes and I think they can be credited for the effort and work they did through HPI. They are very diligent to implement the tools we provide them.” – Cheri Ramirez, Nutrition Educator at Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest Pennsylvania

The Process: The Behind the Scenes of the Partnership

  • Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest Pennsylvania nutrition educator ran a baseline assessment test to analyze the successes and opportunities of the food pantry
  • After the baseline assessment, the Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest Pennsylvania nutrition educator did an HPI training for pantry employees and volunteers
  • Conversion materials (shelving and baskets) were provided to Union City Food Pantry through DOH grant
  • Signage, recipes, and videos were distributed directly to PA HPI pantries and through the feedingpa.org/hpi website

The Impact: Impacts of the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank+ Lifewerks Partnership

According to Cheri Ramirez, the Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest Pennsylvania nutrition educator, Union City Food Pantry was enthusiastic from the very start. After working with the Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest Pennsylvania the past year, Union City Food Pantry has taken several steps to ensure that clients would be encouraged to develop healthy habits. They started out with an HPI training for their staff and volunteers. This allowed the food pantry to learn how to run recipe sampling nights and promote meal bundles and recipes for specific items. In addition, the Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest Pennsylvania nutrition educator helped them utilize their small space in positive ways, as well as helped them get new refrigeration and electrical rewiring provided through a grant to increase perishables. Lastly, they changed their Produce Express to every month instead of every other month!

“What I have enjoyed the most about our partnership through the healthy pantry initiative, is sharing printed information with our shoppers regarding healthy choices available at the pantry along with recipes and pairing suggestions. The materials provide a communication launching point regarding the healthy foods offered and how to prepare and serve them. Our shoppers have enjoyed the recipes, sharing their experience, and cooking tips, which also promote community within the pantry clientele.” – Lynora, Union City Food Pantry