Partnership Pantry–Healthy and Fresh


Sheri with the zucchini pie

Reading time: 2 minutes

Takeaway: The Partnership Pantry is a healthy food pantry that comprises just part of one of the numerous programs integrated into the Partnership for Community Care (P4CC). They welcome donations of low or no salt-added foods, fruit in its own juices, and whole grain foods.

For a community to be whole and healthy, it must be based on people’s love and concern for each other.
— Millard Fuller, Habitat for Humanity Founder

A group was cooking up zucchini and other tasty veggies and eggs into a baked treat at the Greensboro Farmers Curb Market as part of Guilford Local Foods Week. It wasn’t a restaurant or a farm, so who were these folks and why did they care whether we know how to cook our veggies?

Sheri Vettel, Zachary Barnes and Vanessa Osei-Bonsu were representing the Partnership Pantry, part of Partnership for Community Care (P4CC). Quite simply, P4CC wants to make sure everyone in our community is healthy and whole.

The Partnership Pantry is a healthy food pantry that comprises just part of one of the numerous programs integrated into the Partnership for Community Care (P4CC). P4CC focuses on the whole person, ensuring they have the tools, the skills and the voice to improve their health. They serve Carolina Access II Medicaid Patients and NC Health Choice populations in Guilford, Rockingham, and Randolph counties and is one of 14 similar networks in the state.

Sheri Vettel, registered dietitian with P4CC, gives not only nutritional recommendations, but can also provide hands-on cooking lessons and demonstrations, as she was doing when I met her at the market. Sheri appreciates how daunting cooking can be for the uninitiated, particularly cooking with fresh foods. She acknowledges the perception that healthier cooking always means expensive ingredients and time consuming preparation. Sheri “wants to empower people to believe they can do it—they can cook healthy.”

As part of the Partnership Pantry, Sheri provides education around the foods that are donated, providing nutritional insight and cooking recommendations while helping people navigate buying healthier food on limited budgets. She provides one-on-one counseling as well as community workshops.

P4CC provides what I call “wraparound” services—they not only will visit with a person to ascertain their physical health status and needs, but, as needed, they’ll visit with their doctor, assess their medications (to make sure there aren’t prescriptions from different doctors that are counterproductive or duplicative), provide them with mental health services, and provide them with nutritional guidance. Essentially, they lay out all the pieces for good health, and make it possible for people to understand them and use them.

With these tools, P4CC is empowering people to improve their health and is also preventing costly and unnecessary return visits to the ER. Groups from Alabama, Washington and Virginia have visited to observe and take notes about what P4CC is doing. As Zachary Barnes, a care coordinator with P4CC said, “We must be doing a pretty good job!”


Zachary and Vanessa

If you’d like to donate to the Partnership Pantry or learn more about them, just click here. I’m including their handouts for recommended donations below. Keep in mind that recommendations for low or no salt, fruit in its own juices, and whole grain foods are recommendations that can be used when donating to any food pantry!

Where to find them:

Link to Guilford County Food Banks

More about the repeat ER visits:
A Hospital Reduces Repeat ER Visits by Providing Social Workers
How the Rising Cost of Healthcare is Affecting the ACA in North Carolina

Click on the images below to view the recipe for zucchini pie as well as suggested donations items for the pantry.

One response to “Partnership Pantry–Healthy and Fresh

  1. Pingback: Farm & Food Friday October 7, 2016 | Pineapples on Trees·

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