March is National Nutrition Month and we’re posting a series of blogs that focus on nutrition within our networks. You can also learn about our programs here.

This is a guest post from Deb Krempecke, Manager of the Lamoille Community Food Share in Morrisville, VT.

The goal of food shelves has always been to be well-stocked with the staple items needed by those they serve. But nowadays, more and more food shelves are looking to add fresh, nutritious offerings to those canned and packaged items.

Lamoille Community Food Share's FRESH Coupon Program

Photo courtesy of Lamoille Community Food Share

Since 2005, Lamoille Community Food Share (LCFS) has been accessing gleaned vegetables from a variety of sources and these items have been very popular with those who visit our pantry in Morrisville.

Also popular is any kind of fruit, but we started to notice the price of canned fruit was rising dramatically and there were concerns about the amount of sugar and/or corn syrup found within. In 2008, a grant was secured for the purchase of fresh fruit. This grant was put to good use, but there were challenges with the shelf life of certain items.

That’s when the LCFS board of directors came up with the idea of providing coupons to an area supermarket that would allow clients to choose and purchase whatever fresh fruit and vegetables worked best for their families.