Basics

Vulnerable communities, and those who live within them, often lack access and resources to acquire healthy food.

At the same time, these communities are disproportionately affected by diet-related chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, cancer and obesity. Our nutrition and wellness programming is integral to ensuring that those who receive food understand the impact it can have on their health, the health of their families and the health of their community.

Our nutrition and wellness programming began in 2013 with the purpose of assisting in the distribution of healthier food options and of educating those we serve on healthy and delicious ways to utilize nutritious food.

Our program is overseen by a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist who has extensive experience in community health and nutrition. By providing the healthiest food possible to our neighbors in need, we can help in the fight against two battles that are intrinsically linked—hunger and chronic disease in our community. Focusing on highly nutritious foods, we aim to distribute food that will enable people suffering the ill-effects of hunger and poverty to feel stronger and healthier. 

CHOP™

The Choose Healthy Options Program (CHOP™) is a comprehensive program developed by the Greater Pittsburgh Food Bank to promote the acquisition, distribution and consumption of healthy food through food banks. CHOP™ has been adopted nationwide by other food banks, including the Atlanta Community Food Bank, to assist with encouraging healthier food options.

CHOP™ is centered on two main components: the promotion of science-based nutrition as it relates to the food at a food bank and a nutrient analysis tool that calculates a rank for a food based on nutrient quality. Our product sourcing staff can evaluate a food’s nutritional quality when making acquisition decisions, and agencies can use the ranks to maximize healthy choices when ordering from the Food Bank’s inventory. 

For Our Partner Agencies

Healthy Food Prep Demonstrations

Our nutrition team visits partner agencies to demonstrate how to prepare healthy, delicious and affordable meals. Participants are able to taste what they prepare, learn about why healthy food is important and leave with a recipe.

Interactive Displays

Our nutrition and wellness programming uses a myriad of approaches to inform people about the importance of healthy eating. They can often be found utilizing a mobile display with clients at a mobile food pantry, utilizing interactive tools to engage agencies waiting to pick up their ACFB order or at many other food distribution sites where clients are waiting to pick up food.

Classes

The nutrition team works with partner agencies to develop learning opportunities for clients. Just as every community and partner agency is different, so are the clients and the needs that they have. Our team works with agencies to help identify specific health and nutrition needs so they can provide specific, targeted information to ACFB partner agencies and those they serve.

If you are an ACFB partner agency who would like to set up a time for the ACFB nutrition and wellness team to come to your site, please complete the nutrition education request form, located in the Agency Toolkit, and return it to nutrition@acfb.org.

Internship Opportunities

We help educate and inspire future public health and nutrition professionals through partnerships with local universities and hospitals. Our interns assist with research related to the needs of our communities and effectiveness of our programming. They also assist with nutrition education efforts at our partner agencies. 

Dietetic interns are accepted through programs and institutions that the ACFB has an outstanding memorandum of understandings with. If other internship opportunities are available, they can be found on the ACFB career site.