Evaluating Michigan’s Produce for Pantries Program
The Michigan Produce for Pantries program encourages home and community gardeners to plant, grow and share produce with food pantries in their neighborhoods—providing over 5,000 food pantry clients with access to homegrown fresh fruits and veggies, and helping to connect them with SNAP-Ed resources and trainings from the Michigan Harvest of the Month program.
In their evaluation, PHI’s Survey Research Group found that food bank clients reportedly loved Produce for Pantries, especially the taste testing and interactions with the nutrition educators. Most felt confident they could prepare the fruits and vegetables they received from the emergency food distribution sites at home, and eighty-nine percent of clients felt very sure they could prepare the produce they took home in a way that their family would eat and enjoy.
Survey Research Group also evaluated the effects of the Produce for Pantries program on fruit and vegetable intake and assessed policy, systems, and environmental change strategies to implement at emergency food distribution sites.