URBANA, Ill. – A food pantry’s primary objective is to get food to the participants that need it—to meet their immediate needs. Annually, food pantries, or food banks, distribute free grocery items to over 46.5 million people in the United States.

Researchers and Extension educators at the University of Illinois are asking if improvements to the consumer nutrition environment of food pantries—placement of items, food choices, freshness, availability of nutritional information, etc.—can also help participants in making healthier food choices.