Quality = Dignity
People living with food insecurity need access to quality, nutrient-dense food.
That can be a challenge for food pantries and soup kitchens who rely on donations. As much as we try to make visiting a food pantry a ‘shopping’ experience where one can exercise choice, the supplies are limited. It’s not like shopping in the grocery store.
For soup kitchens, it’s tough to stretch meals to feed as many people as possible on donations. Programs often receive plenty of baked goods- breads, pastries, donuts, cakes and cookies- but not nearly enough healthy proteins or produce.
Not only are items like donated cakes and pastries empty calories, they are a health hazard for people who struggle with chronic medical conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, and obesity.
This recent article from the Washington Post highlights how food pantries are responding to the balance of accepting donations while also honoring dignity of people who come to food programs in need.
At Unity House, our core belief is that everyone is deserving of respect and compassion so they may have dignity and hope. When delivering services around food, we strive to provide healthy options, offer education on how best to use healthy ingredients to prepare wholesome foods, set our dining room to offer a clean, respectful environment while serving high-quality food out of our kitchen, and treat everyone with respect. We strive to ensure our dining room is a place where all feel welcome in a safe space. It’s not always easy and, honestly, some meals are better than others, just like at home.
In our food pantry, some weeks the shelves look flush- maybe there are cooking oils! At other times, the shelves are not as full and variety is lacking. We are grateful for resources like our regional food bank, donations from the community, and the many partnerships we maintain to help ensure we can offer as many options as possible.
If you would like more information on Unity House Food Programs, including volunteering or making a gift, please contact Diane Cameron Pascone at (518) 274-2607 x4133 or email@example.com. On behalf of those we serve, thank you.