Catholic Charities Promotes Healthy Eating on a Budget

Catholic Charities NutritionCatholic Charities is taking some remarkable steps towards promoting nutrition and healthy eating for their clients. The image on the left will soon become a display area highlighting tips and suggestions for eating healthy on a budget.

Read on to learn more from an interview with Derrick Clow, Catholic Charities Semoran Food Pantry Manager.

What inspired you to move in the direction toward hunger and health?

Having an interest in improving my own diet and general eating habits, I thought “What can I do to help our client make some of the same choices?”

Most of our clients do not have easy or affordable access to the same nutritious food that I am lucky enough to have. To overcome this challenge, I decided to get as much fresh produce as possible and give each client at least a week’s worth of produce. Access should not be a limiting factor to a healthy diet.

What changes have you made, or are you planning to make as you move forward?  

We are also starting to provide healthy diet information in our lobby. Shortly, we will have a display of healthy food options for a family of four for the lowest price possible. The intent is to show our clients that a healthy diet is possible on a limited budget with careful spending.

The pantry now supplies an ample supply of produce to each client, usually amounting to half or a full paper grocery bag. Depending on what’s available, the client usually gets at least three different types of vegetables. This week we are offering: potatoes, onions, cucumbers and watermelon.

What outcomes or feedback have you received from clients and others?

Our clients have noticed the increase in quantity and quality of the produce that we’re providing. I often here hear positive comments about having produce. It is not uncommon to hear actual excitement in their voices.

Is there any other valuable information you’d like to share?

I think it so important that we not only feed but educate our clients. Better health leads to lower medical costs. Medical costs are a common cause of strain, and can break a limited budget. Better nutrition can and will help in the struggle for many families and individuals to stay financially afloat.

We are inspired by Catholic Charities’ efforts in addressing hunger and health in their community. If your agency is putting forth a similar effort, please let us know! Email the Nutrition Team at and share your story, or let us know what nutrition resources could help support you.

Catholic Charities Promotes Healthy Eating on a Budget

3 thoughts on “Catholic Charities Promotes Healthy Eating on a Budget

  1. What a wonderful service!!! Would you have these available for Public Schools, especially those with high homeless numbers, like Aloma, Lakemont and Killarney Elementary Schools.

    Thank you.
    Ann Clement
    407 832 4180

    1. Hi Ann-

      What a great idea! Catholic Charities sourced the display case on their own, but you both have inspired us to look into their innovative model, and perhaps work towards helping other partners replicate it. In the meantime, I’m going to put you in touch with our own Chef Terah, who may be able to work with you on similar education through the Agency Benefit Program pilot.

      Lauren Moskowitz

  2. We here at Catholic Charities Cocoa Pantry are all for better nutrition through healthy eating but we have found sadly is that lots of our client do not know how to prepare some of the beans, and other ingredients that are put in their bags. One thing we have done is made recipes with what is in our bags most time to give them some ideas. I would also like to start a cooking class to show clients how to cook the items in the bags to make healthy meals that they and the kids could do together.

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