Client Choice Food Pantry to Open in East Toledo

June 30, 2014—TOLEDO—Catholic Charities’ Helping Hands of St. Louis will open its doors to a new client choice food pantry on Tuesday, July 1.  The pantry will be open every Tuesday and Thursday from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m.

Previously, clients who came to the Helping Hands’ pantry received pre-packaged bags with the same food items for each family.  “A lot of clients would receive food they wouldn’t use or their family didn’t need,” said Sue Shrewsbery, staff member at Helping Hands.  The food pantry provides an average of 200 bags of groceries each month.

The new format will provide clients with a grocery store atmosphere and allow clients to choose food based on their individual or family’s needs.  The pantry will be divided into nutritional categories: grains, vegetables, fruits, dairy, meats and combination foods/miscellaneous.  Clients will also have the opportunity to pick items dependent on household size.

Helping Hands has partnered with the Toledo Lucas County Health Department for the creation of the client choice pantry.  The Health Department donated shopping carts, nutritional pamphlets and recipes. 

Catholic Charities also operates a client choice pantry in Mansfield, called the H.O.P.E. Pantry.  “The client choice format provides people with dignity because they are able to choose what is best for themselves and their family,” said Catholic Charities Executive Director Rodney Schuster.

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