Pennsylvania Healthy Pantry Initiative
The Pennsylvania Department of Health is committed to increasing access to healthy food and beverage options through the Pennsylvania Healthy Pantry Initiative (PA HPI). The department has partnered with Feeding Pennsylvania and its member food banks to increase healthy inventory available to food pantries. A registered dietitian with Feeding Pennsylvania and a nutrition educator in the participating food banks will guide pantries through phases to increase healthy food and beverage options. The phases include:
- Assessing pantries to determine needs;
- Using marketing materials and layout changes to nudge clients toward healthier choices;
- Increasing healthier inventory;
- Upgrading or adding materials to display and store healthier options; and
- Offering hands-on nutrition education with pantry clients.
Feeding Pennsylvania and participating food banks will also create nutrition policies emphasizing the importance of healthy options, which will sustain the healthy changes long-term. PA HPI data and program updates will report to the Governor's Food Security Partnership.
Previously, the department implemented the five-year Pennsylvania Healthy Corner Store Initiative to increase healthy food and beverage options in corner stores in 10 cities in Pennsylvania. Although funding for the program has ended, some of the program's work continues through SNAP-Ed partners and other local organizations.
For more information on PA HPI or healthy food access work, please contact:
Pennsylvania Department of Health
Bureau of Health Promotion and Risk Reduction
Division of Nutrition and Physical Activity
625 Forster St., Room 1000 Health and Welfare Building
Harrisburg, PA 17120