“In a land of great wealth, families must not live in hopeless poverty. In a land rich in harvest, children just must not go hungry.” – Lyndon B. Johnson
So, what is a homeless-friendly pantry? What makes a pantry homeless friendly, anyway? And, how can I support such a pantry?
For starters, a homeless friendly pantry doesn’t require discriminatory identification. Homeless people living in their cars or on the porch of an unoccupied home, or in an abandoned building cannot offer proof of address. Nor should they be asked to. A shopper’s address does not belong on the list of needed information.
A homeless-friendly pantry stocks foods which homeless people can eat. Those foods include fruits and vegetables which can be eaten raw. Canned goods for homeless people have pop tops which don’t need can openers.
A homeless friendly pantry offers salads in containers that homeless people can eat out of. Salad dressings are best in small packages or containers.
Individual containers of yogurt, cottage cheese, are good choices along with small containers of milk, juice, and packages of cheese.
Peanut butter, jelly, crackers, and bread are essential. Protein bars and cereal bars should be available at all times.
A homeless-friendly pantry offers at least five items of canned/boxed/bagged food per person to a household.
A homeless-friendly pantry offers 50% fresh produce to its shoppers. Produce which can be eaten raw such as carrots, cherries, lettuce, celery, sweet peppers, is very important to the health of a homeless person to have access to fresh fruits and vegetables.
The most important thing a homeless-sensitive pantry offers is a respect for all shoppers regardless of their living conditions, their health issues, and their disabilities.
The best way to support a homeless-friendly pantry is by sending money and donating food.
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Peace and food for all.