How much protein does a person need to consume in a day?
The amount of protein one needs depends on age and gender, which makes setting up a pantry a bit challenging, since each household is unique. If we were to try to assign quantities based on this chart, it would drive our clients and volunteers crazy, and it would take a lot longer to shop at the pantry.
The approach we have taken is to identify a set number of items in each category, and make sure we include several that can feed more than one or two people. Whole chickens and eggs by the dozen are perfect examples, but we try to go beyond what is required, doubling the number of items families can take by setting up two protein sections. One is for peanut butter, beans and tuna, while the other is for frozen and fresh meat, chicken, fish and eggs. However, we do make an exception for pregnant women, by giving them even more than the double amount offered to regular clients.
When we compared what we would offer if we followed the serving suggestions versus what we are offering now, we discovered our clients have many more choices and get to take more food home to feed their families.
As a result, we estimate our clients leave with 4-5 days of food rather than the typical 3.
We can only do that with the help of our donors and sponsors who provide annual grants to increase the options for healthy nutrition.
Over the past year grants for additional proteins were made available by TD Bank, Junior League of Westchester on the Sound, The Hudson Gateway Realtor Foundation, and The Greenleaf Foundation.
We have applied for more grants to support our expanded protein table, and we are awaiting responses.
So, what do you think? Is our idea of providing more than required something you would like to help us do?
Why not join us on Pantry Days (Wednesday 9-10 am; and Saturday, 8-10 am) and see?
If you haven't felt the joy of giving lately, you need to come. Everyone leaves smiling.