Evaluate the implementation of “The Healthy Choice” nutrition ranking in the Front Door network of food pantries. This funding and partnership will help Foodlink understand if improvements in their network, foods distributed and pantry environment have an impact on pantry-level and client-level outcomes.
Foodlink launched three initiatives to improve the nutritional quality of food that is distributed to clients. One of those programs, “The Healthy Choice,” is a new, evidence-based, whole food-focused nutrition ranking system. The levels include green: choose often, yellow: choose occasionally, and red: choose rarely. The Healthy Choice is used to monitor and improve the proportion of nutritious food taken in and distributed to network partners. Foodlink is committed to distributing 95% green- and yellow-ranked foods by 2021. As part of this grant, Foodlink will build client-facing messaging related to The Healthy Choice, including signage on shelves that help clients navigate food choices that are organized by ranking. The messages will be simple, accessible to a variety of literacy and language needs and help to clearly and quickly make healthy choices easy. Once The Healthy Choice is implemented, change in behavior will be evaluated at the pantry- and client-levels.
Foodlink is the Feeding America food bank that serves Allegany, Genesee, Livingston, Monroe, Ontario, Orleans, Seneca, Wayne, Wyoming, and Yates counties in western New York, a 7,000-square-mile area with more than 400 member agencies. Foodlink’s programs, services and member agencies serve more than 200,000 people on an annual basis. Aside from collecting and distributing food to member agencies, Foodlink has several programs that address hunger, including nutrition education initiations that work to improve food literacy.
Mission: Leverage the power of food to end hunger and build healthier communities.