The Choice Pantry, located at Food for People in Eureka, provides income eligible community members with access to healthy and nutritious foods. Our system emphasizes both choice and a balanced diet. This efficient pantry model is set up for people to “shop” through their food selection process much like they would in a grocery store, rather than receiving pre-packaged bags.
While the specific selection of food will vary from month to month, items from each nutritional food group (dairy, protein, grains, fruits, vegetables) are always represented. The choice system helps families to go home with the foods that they need and like while leaving behind items that they will not use, so none goes to waste. Volunteers and staff members are available to help shoppers with any questions about food groups, ingredients or Nutrition Facts labels. We even include recipe cards and taste tests throughout the pantry, to help shoppers with cooking ideas for healthy meals and snacks.
Our Choice Pantry primarily serves residents of Eureka. There are 15 other pantries located throughout the county, and each one is intended to serve its nearby community members. Click here to view a complete list of all Humboldt County food pantries.
Each household may “shop” in the Choice Pantry once per calendar month. To access pantry commodity foods, households must meet the following monthly income guidelines:
Household of 1 = $1,436
Household of 2 = $1,939
Household of 3 = $2,441
Household of 4 = $2,944
Household of 5 = $3,446
Household of 6 = $3,949
Household of 7 = $4,451
Household of 8 = $4,954
Household of 9 = $5,456
Household of 10 = $5,959
Over 10 = Add $503 each
How do I make an appointment in the Choice Pantry?
See the receptionist in person or call Food for People at (707) 445-3166 to pre-schedule an appointment for the current week. A receptionist is available Monday though Friday from 9am-4:30pm to schedule your appointment.
As available, appointment times will be offered within our regular Choice Pantry distribution hours:
Every Tuesday 10am to 3pm
Every Wednesday 10am to 3pm
Every 2nd and 4th Thursday of the month from 10am to 4pm
Every Friday from 10am to 4pm
Please bring bags from home with you to your appointment, as our bag resources are low.
2. COME IN AT YOUR PRE-SCHEDULED APPOINMENT TIME
Check in with the receptionist at your appointment time, and then wait for your name to be called by an interviewer. You will find Choice Pantry informational pamphlets, healthy recipes and community resource information to look over in the lobby.
3. MEET WITH AN INTERVIEWER
Your interviewer will collect information from you about your household, provide you with additional community resources, and answer any questions about the Choice Pantry that you may have. The interviewer will give you a personalized Shopping Guide that will be designed specifically for your household size. The shopping guide is broken down into two main categories: USDA commodities and locally donated “points” items. A valid form of identification is requested for all members of the household for whom you are requesting USDA food. A valid form of ID is required for all members of your household for whom you are requesting “points” items.
Shopping Guide point values vary daily, but the overall amount of food offered will stay consistent throughout each month. Here is an example of what your Shopping Guide may look like.
4. SHOP IN THE CHOICE PANTRY
With a shopping cart and a volunteer assistor, you then spend your given number of points for each particular food group (dairy, grains, protein, etc.) on any item within that group. Our color-coded food group system clearly marks each shelf or refrigerator for easy food group identification. Assistance will be offered to help pack and carry out your items.
Are you looking for more fresh produce to bring home to your family?
Need some assistance with your CalFresh (food stamp) application?
Appointments with our helpful staff CalFresh assistors can be conveniently scheduled just before or after your appointment in the Choice Pantry. A separate appointment date and time for CalFresh assistance can also be arranged. Call Heidi McHugh at (707) 445-3166 x308 to make a CalFresh appointment, or ask to be transferred to her line just after you make your Choice Pantry food appointment. Click here to read more about our CalFresh Outreach program and learn about eligibility, the application process and how to get started.
Choice Pantry Client Experiences
“Thank you for your happy helpful spirit and good nutrition. And thanks for walking me through.”
“Keep up the good work. I cannot express my personal gratitude to you all for the work you do, so I will say “Thank you very much.”
“Thank you for all your wonderful work and amazing service to the community. There have been many months that my family would have gone without food if it wasn’t for Food for People. All of your volunteers and employees always have a bright and sunny disposition. Again, thank you!”
Interested in volunteering in the Choice Pantry? We have many positions available such as: receptionist, intake interviewer, shoppers’ helper, computer data entry, warehouse assistant, volunteer meal cook and assistant to the cook. Click here to visit our volunteer information page, and find out about these and many other volunteer opportunities
In accordance with Federal law and U.S. Department of Agriculture policy, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability.