Healthy Food Access


Impact of Food Pantry Partnerships

Using the Nutrition Environment Food Pantry Assessment Tool, SNAP-Ed helped food pantries make changes to their layouts and operations to make healthier choices even more accessible. The NEFPAT is a short environmental assessment tool to use in food pantries. The assessment allows users to easily identify policy, systems and environmental changes, such as distribution practices and healthy marketing strategies. The evidence-based objectives of the tool evaluate food distribution styles, promotion of healthful foods, variety of fruits and vegetables available, access to information about community resources, and meeting the needs of a diverse clientele. Read the research behind NEFPAT.


Illinois SNAP-Ed works with grocery stores, farmers markets, food pantries, and more to help improve the availability of healthy foods to families who may historically have poorer access.

  • When families have access to healthy foods, there is a lower risk of obesity and other chronic diseases. Healthy eating choices can also lead to better health, which can help adults with job performance and youth with school readiness.

Partnerships with food pantries, food banks, stores, and markets

In 2021, we partnered with 212 locations where Illinois families shop for food, with 85% being food pantries and food banks, to nudge families towards healthier choices.