The Nutrition Pantry Program (NPP) offers support, resources, and technical assistance in six distinct focus areas

Participating food distributions can chose to work in one focus area or can explore initiatives in multiple areas at the same time. Work in any of the focus areas will bring a food distribution closer to silver or gold certification through Leah’s Pantry.

The below page lists each of the individual focus areas and offers examples of the kind of work the UC San Diego ACTRI Center for Community Health NPP team can support at food distributions throughout San Diego County.

Ready to start NPP work at your site? Contact us to get started!


Clients are warmly welcomed and healthy options are easy to access

Sample Initiatives:

  • Creating an easy, quick check-in process
  • Designing pantry space to be welcoming, attractive, and easy to find
  • Providing recipe cards matched with items being distributed


Nutrition Education

Clients, volunteers, and staff have access to nutrition and culinary education

Sample Initiatives:

  • Providing virtual or on site nutrition education classes for clients
  • Training volunteers and staff on food handling and safe extension dates
  • Posting nutrition education resources including posters, recipe cards, and fun facts

Cultural & Dietary Accommodations

People of different backgrounds have access to food and information that fits their preferences and health needs

Sample Initiatives:

  • Offering halal, kosher, vegetarian, and other food options based on dietary needs
  • Surveying clients on their dietary preferences and needs
  • Training staff and volunteers on the dietary and cultural backgrounds and needs of clients

Community Connections

Pantries connect and collaborate with the community

Sample Initiatives:

  • Connecting clients with outreach workers for food security programs
  • Building relationships with local community groups as a source of potential volunteers
  • Partnering with organizations for delivery services

Inventory: Food Sourcing & Waste Reduction

Healthy foods are prioritized for distribution. Pantries support a variety of waste reduction efforts

Sample Initiatives:

  • Identifying new community food sources
  • Creating systems for handling food waste in environmentally-friendly ways
  • Implementing systems and policies aimed at offering consistent and nutritionally-rich food bags

Nutrition Goals & Pantry Plans

Policies and procedures are documented and align with a commitment to dignified, healthy distribution

Sample Initiatives:

  • Drafting a pantry Operations Manual
  • Posting Pantry Mission and Vision Statements, and communications for staff, volunteers, and clients
  • Creating a ‘Respect and Dignity’ policy


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