At Beyond Hunger, we never forget the importance people place on receiving nutritious food. Everyone who comes through our drive-thru pantry receives over 80 pounds of food. But we aren’t just focused on providing pounds of calories – we make sure that the food is wholesome and culturally familiar.
With the goal of ensuring the food that goes home with families is healthy and enjoyable, our Nutrition and Health Education team and our Pantry team have been working in tandem to create new specialty boxes such as our Latin Flavors box. Or people can choose a Diabetic Friendly box with items that make wholesome, low sugar meals. We also offer boxes that are vegan or vegetarian, gluten free, or free from nut allergens.
“The dignity of our clients comes first. Creating specialty boxes for those visiting our drive-thru is a way of honoring that commitment.” -Ricardo Garcia, Senior Pantry Programs Manager
The Pedestrian Pantry is always open for people to individually select the specific items they want. But the specialty boxes allow for the convenience of the drive-thru while giving families a prepacked choice they have been looking for.
“As people come for grocery pick-up, I ask about the food they’ve been receiving. A number of times people indicated we’d included items they couldn’t eat because of an allergy or their diet. We tracked data for months about foods people wanted to see in their boxes. We also asked about ongoing health concerns. The results showed that our specialty boxes are filling a true need.” -Bri Kellogg, MS RDN LDN, Nutrition Education Coordinator and Dietician
Beyond Hunger needs more help and volunteers to deliver groceries to homes in Oak Park and River Forest.
Have daytime availability during the week? Sign up to volunteer at: GoBeyondHunger.org/volunteer