Good Neighbors Food Pantry Nutrition Guidelines
The Good Neighbors Food Pantry Mission Statement contains the following guidance concerning our nutrition goals. It states, in part, that Good Neighbors Food Pantry:
- Provides healthy food and other resources to those in need in a welcoming atmosphere.
- Focuses on providing fresh, healthy food, including partnering with the Boyne City Farmers Market to provide fresh produce.
- Strives to educate and inform clients.
The purpose of the Nutritional Guidelines is to follow our Mission and support the overall health and well-being of those who struggle to put food on their tables in the Boyne area. These principles will guide the procurement of food items, including donations received from businesses and individuals.
Good Neighbors Food Pantry will:
- Commit to supporting the health of our shoppers by prioritizing the distribution of recommended USDA “MyPlate” foods
- Limit the distribution of less healthy options
- Provide food selections that accommodate special dietary needs
- Provide basic staples to support meal planning and preparation such as cooking oil, flour, spices, etc.
- Promote healthy food choices by product placement, providing recipes and cooking tips, etc.
- Conduct food demos and cooking classes in cooperation with the Health Department and Manna Food Project when possible
- Consider nutrition when making special occasion food bags and kits. Fresh fruits and vegetables will be included when possible. Dessert will be provided for Thanksgiving and Christmas only.
Food Items Provided
The following food items will be provided:
- Fresh vegetables and fruits
- Frozen meat and fish
- Eggs and dairy products such as milk, cheese and yogurt
- A variety of non-perishable protein such as canned chicken, tuna fish, salmon, and peanut butter
- Canned goods—vegetables, fruit, soup, meats, beans, etc. (with low sodium when available)
- Boxed or packaged meals—complete dinners, pasta, etc.
- 100% fruit juice
- Shelf-stable, unsweetened soy or other alternative milk, as available
- Dry goods—dried beans, lentils, peas, nuts and seeds, dried fruit
- Cereals and grains—including unsweetened oatmeal and, if possible, low-sugar cereals, whole grains (brown rice, etc.) and whole grain pasta
Good Neighbors Food Pantry will not distribute:
- Sugary drinks such as sodas and sports drinks
Although it affects all socioeconomic levels, obesity rates are most prevalent among the lower-income population. During the emergence of the obesity epidemic, observers noted that many who were overweight were also undernourished and food insecure, a phenomenon that became known as the “hunger-obesity paradox.” Obesity is a risk factor for diabetes and other diseases, including COVID-19.
As an organization supplying foods to low-income families, Good Neighbors Food Pantry strives to provide foods that promote and protect healthy living and decrease diet related diseases. Additionally, Good Neighbors has committed to eliminating foods that are high in calories and low in nutrient density. Specifically candy, soda, and other sugary drinks, as well as donuts, have been targeted for their exceptionally high sugar content and role in displacing nutrient-dense food. In particular, these items contribute no substantive nutrition and do not promote the nature of our work, which is to feed those who are hungry.
Good Neighbors is not implying that there is no room for these items in a well-balanced diet, rather that there seems to be no indication that there is a lack of access to these items by our client base. Therefore, our efforts will continue to focus on procuring products that contribute greater nutritional value and those that are clearly more difficult to access.