The Hastings and Diamondale food pantries, working with the Barry Eaton District Heath department (BEDHD), have changed their policies to increase the health of its client by encouraging healthy food choices.
Offering healthful foods can help pantry clients eat more nutritious food than they might be able to afford, which can help decrease the number of people who have nutrition–related diseases or reduce the severity of the diseases in those who have them.
The changes are supported by a grant from the Michigan Health Endowment Fund, working with local pantries to being healthful foods to low income residents.
The Hastings Pantry, at the First United Church, will provide fresh vegetables as seasonally available and provide information on healthy nutrition.
The Dimondale Pantry, at the First Presbyterian Church of Diamondale, will provide food from each food group, seek donations of fresh produce, and purchase low sodium, no-salt-added and processed foods from the Lansing Food Bank. They also purchase fresh product and dairy items from the Lansing Food Bank before each distribution day, when available, and encourage donations of whole grain products.
Cooking classes, ”Cooking Matters,” are being held at the both pantries. Taught by MSU Extension, the class teaches how to cook healthy foods in budget-friendly way.
For more information and to sign up for an upcoming class, call the Barry County MSU Extension office at 269-945-1388
Those who wish to donate to a pantry are encouraged to donate healthy foods, canned fruit in 100 percent fruit juice, whole wheat pasta, whole grain cereal and low sodium or water packed vegetables and meats. More helpful donation suggestions are at Feeding America’s Healthy Donation List at https://goo.gl/TxgqAo.