Reinventing the Basic ‘Food Pantry’ Model

Freshplace Food Pantry

The Junior League of Hartford

Name of Initiative: Freshplace Food Pantry

Issue Area(s): Health & Nutrition

Metric of Success (if quantifiable/available): Since July 2010, Freshplace has served 158 families, fed 442 people, and served 46,829 “meals.”


A collaborative project of The Junior League of Hartford; the Chrysalis Center, a Connecticut-based nonprofit healthcare agency; and Foodshare, a regional food bank, Freshplace is an innovative food pantry designed to tackle chronic hunger and related issues in one of the poorest neighborhoods in Hartford.

Project Founders

  • The Junior League of Hartford
  • The Chrysalis Center
  • Foodshare
Research was conducted by:
  • University of Connecticut/Connecticut Institute for Clinical and Translational Science (CICATS)

How it works

Working from a 2,000-square-foot facility in Hartford’s Upper Albany neighborhood, the partners provide at-risk families with fresh fruits, vegetables, meat and dairy products in addition to pantry staples. Clients are guided in making selections that accommodate their health, cultural, religious and familial needs. There are also comprehensive intake and referral services, increasing access to food stamps, health and crisis intervention programs, public assistance, and educational services. Freshplace also provides a community hub and resource, assisting in the revitalization of the Upper Albany neighborhood, supporting the network of existing area food pantries, and creating a center for community involvement. The partners worked with the University of Connecticut’s School of Allied Health Sciences to analyze and measure results.

What’s the impact?

Acknowledged as a highly innovative approach to dealing with the problem of chronic urban hunger, Freshplace has successfully reexamined the structure of the food pantry and its role in providing education as well as food to clients. At the same time, Freshplace demonstrates the potential impact of an initiative jointly conceived, funded and implemented by a Junior League and major community partners dedicated to eradicating hunger.