Real Life, Good Food

Food planning guide during COVID-19


Check what you have at home first
Take a look at the foods you already have in your refrigerator, freezer, and pantry; make sure to look at expiration dates and best by dates. This can help you plan meals around what you already have, and will help you limit the number of trips to the grocery store and avoid spending money on items you don’t need.

Explore your options
Many grocery stores offer in-store pickup, curbside pickup, or delivery. You can also explore options that food shelves in your area offer. Third party options also exist for grocery store delivery. If you are older, check if your store delivers or has early shopping hours for older individuals only. Remember: If you go to the store or your food shelf to pick up food, wash your hands thoroughly!

Try to include fresh, frozen, and non-perishable items
If available, try to get a mix of fresh, frozen, and shelf-stable foods. Eat your fresh food first. Stock your freezer and pantry with items you can eat over the next few weeks.

What should I make?
While everyone is home together, you may feel inclined to try a new recipe or experiment with new flavors to keep things interesting. For others, sticking to simple items or familiar foods and tastes provides comfort. Plan what works for you and your family. Make a list of recipes that you want to try. 

Access to food while school is closed
Many school districts across the country are continuing to provide meals to students in need during school closures. Check for local programs in your area, such as the information compiled by Hunger Solutions.


Adapted from U.S. Department of Agriculture. March 2020. 

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