Food Pantries

What Is It?

A food pantry is a distribution center where hungry families can receive food. Supplied with food from a food bank, pantries feed hundreds of people per week. Because every community is different, there are many different types of pantries (Feeding America, 2022).

The Catawba County Food Council has partnered with Greater Hickory Cooperative Christian Ministry (CCM) and Eastern Catawba Cooperative Christian Ministry (ECCCM) for cooking videos, recipes, accessing culturally appropriate resources, and continues to work directly with both food pantries to provide education on topics they have identified. 

References: 

Feeding America. (2022). What is the difference between a food bank and food pantry. Retrieved on March 30, 2022 from https://www.feedingamerica.org/hunger-blog/what-difference-between-food-bank-and-food-pantry. 

Who We Serve

The Catawba County Food Council’s strategies will target the the census tracts of 103.03, 104.2, 106, 107, 109, 110, 112 and 113, which are low-income census tracts where a significant number or share of residents are more than ½ or 1 mile (urban) or 10 miles (rural) from the nearest supermarket. At this time the census tracts targeted are based on the 2015 data from the USDA's Food Access Research Atlas. The Food Council had also planned to target parents and/or caregivers of children ages 2 to middle school within the low income and low access census tracts.

Experience and Importance

The Catawba County Food Council's action plan includes the following strategies related to food pantries The work group recognizes the importance of focusing on evidence-based strategies. Action steps related to the following strategies are discussed and updated during monthly work group meetings. 

Strategies: Food Pantries

  • Develop education for food pantries on:
    • Food safety (thawing, freezing, temperatures, safe storage)
    • Food preservation (freezing)
    • Easy, family friendly recipes using commodity foods 
    • Translate recipes into Spanish and other languages as needed

Policy Agenda:  Equitable Access to Healthy Foods

  1. We support and advocate for sustainable policy, systems, and environmental change strategies that support equitable access to healthy foods for all community members. 
  2. We believe equitable access to healthy foods can be achieved through community education, SNAP Double Bucks, and the elimination of food deserts in support of a healthier community.
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