Building a client choice pantry

A client choice pantry is precisely how it’s read – clients select the food they need, like, and want for health or personal reasons.

What are pantry coordinators saying about transitioning to client choice?

  • Clients can get back dignity through “shopping like at a grocery store”.
  • Clients can make decisions to meet their health needs.
  • Clients take the food they will use and leave the rest for others, which reduces food waste.
  • I thought we would try it for a few months to give it a try and then go back to pre-packing when it took too much time or left too many food items on the shelves. We are never going back! The foods we thought would be left behind were items that some of our clients were really excited to be able to get like canned jalapenos and pickled beets.

How client choice improves your organization:

  • The clients and pantry staff/volunteers form stronger connections and relationships.
  • Easier ordering and reduced food waste as pantries learn what foods to stock based on client selections.
  • Reduced time spent on prepacking food items.
  • Volunteers enjoy more time with others instead of alone which improves morale.
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