Skip to Main navigation Skip to Left navigation Skip to Main content Skip to Footer

University of Minnesota Extension

Extension is almost done building a new website! Please take a sneak peek or read about our redesign process.

Extension > Family > Health and Nutrition > Signature programs and special projects > Building better food shelves > Promoting Healthy Eating at Food Shelves > Promoting Healthy Eating at Food Shelves > Work With Limited Storage Space

Print Icon Email Icon Share Icon

Promoting Healthy Eating at Food Shelves

woman with clipboard

Work With Limited Storage Space

Sally Dover and Kelly Kunkel, Extension Educators — Health and Nutrition

April 2014; revised December 2014 by Kelly Kunkel, Extension Educator — Health and Nutrition.

Storage space is often a limiting factor for fresh food distribution, especially in smaller food shelves with limited operating hours, low product turnover, and infrequent deliveries.

What You Can Do Today

Ideas in Action: Vouchers

A great option if you can afford it is to work with a local grocery store or farmers market to implement a voucher program. You can designate which foods the vouchers can be used for, such as fresh fruits and vegetables or milk. Here's the process:

  1. You distribute vouchers to your food shelf clients.
  2. Clients take the vouchers to the grocery store or farmers market and get the fresh foods they want.
  3. The grocery store or farmers market returns the vouchers to you for reimbursement (you pay them for the produce at this time).

Vouchers offer several advantages:

One way to secure necessary funding for a voucher program is to work with existing community partners who donate food to you. They may be willing to donate money to support the voucher program instead, especially if they know doing so will help you provide healthy options.

How Extension Can Help

Connect with a SNAP-Ed educator to identify recipes (for your clients) that use fresh foods with slower turnover: SNAP-Ed Team.

Related resources

Attend the Class — Partner with us to train your frontline food shelf volunteers and staff on Nudging for Health: Promoting Healthy Choices at Your Food Shelf.

Food Shelf Resource Book (PDF) — Review this resource book for handouts about food categories, specific foods, and recipes that can be used in your food shelf.

  • © Regents of the University of Minnesota. All rights reserved.
  • The University of Minnesota is an equal opportunity educator and employer. Privacy