Fresh Shelves, Healthy Pantries


To date, no study has tested multiple strategies in food pantries of different sizes to help pantry clients access and select healthy foods. We received the Community Scholars Grant from the Lerner Center of Public Health Promotion to collaborate with the Maryland Food Bank on a feasibility trial. We will develop and test multiple environmental, educational, and policy interventions in small, medium and large food pantries to improve access and uptake of healthful foods by low-income families in Baltimore City.


  • To assess the operability, acceptability, perceived sustainability, and implementation quality of different manager/volunteer trainings, food environment interventions, and policy strategies to inform future interventions in food pantries.
  • To assess change in availability of healthful foods and beverages on the pantry’s shelves using the FPEC instrument before and after each intervention phase.
  • To evaluate nutritional quality of foods selected by clients in terms of Healthy Eating Index (HEI-2010) via checkout observations of client’s carts.


We are currently conducting intervention visits for Phase 1 of our project, promoting Lean & Low Sodium Proteins.


Sally Yan
Sally YanStudy Coordinator
Sally Yan is a second year Master of Science in Public Health student in International Health, focusing on Human Nutrition. As a student, she has worked on projects based in corner stores and food pantries to increase healthy food access among low-income Baltimore residents. Before beginning her MSPH program at Johns Hopkins, Sally spent two years working as a Feeding America Child Hunger Corps fellow at Feeding South Dakota in Sioux Falls, SD, where she implemented programs to address childhood food insecurity in South Dakota. Sally’s interests include implementing community and environmental interventions to reduce food insecurity in low-resource areas. Sally Yan has been coordinating Dr. Gittelsohn’s research studies in Baltimore City food pantries.
Bengucan Gunen
Bengucan GunenStudy Coordinator
Bengucan Gunen is a second year Master of Science in Public Health student in the Health Policy and Management Department. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Public Health and German in 2017 from Johns Hopkins University with Honors in Public Health. As a rising junior in college, she started working Dr. Joel Gittelsohn and took part in his multilevel, multicomponent obesity prevention trial in Baltimore City, B’more Healthy Communities for Kids. In the summer of 2016, she worked as a research assistant at the Center for a Livable Future, collecting data for Baltimore City’s Food Environment Map. Along with Sally Yan, she has been coordinating Dr. Gittelsohn’s research studies in Baltimore City food pantries.

If you would like the data collection forms please email Joel Gittelsohn. 

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