North Kent Connect believes that all residents of northern Kent County have the right to access healthy and affordable food. We are committed to developing, collaborating with, and supporting local, sustainable, just, and equitable food programs that provide fresh, whole, healthy, and affordable food to our community.

North Kent Connect Will:

  • Follow the Dietary Guidelines for Healthy Americans
  • Eliminate highly-processed, high sodium, high fat, and high sugary foods from our food programs
  • Focus on providing whole food options
  • Focus on providing locally-sourced foods when possible
  • Cultivate relationships with local and statewide farmers to glean and sustain our food programs throughout all four seasons
  • Offer educational programming that supports a healthy lifestyle
  • Educate our donors on the importance of providing accessible and healthy food options to all members of the community
  • Provide a specific wish list of food items to donors
  • Provide food samples along with recipes that utilize our current food inventory
  • Connect community members to free or affordable family-friendly activities that promote health and wellness
  • Provide opportunities to connect community members with local farmers
  • Incorporate and support environmentally-safe and eco-friendly practices
  • Support community leaders who advocate for increased access to healthy food and healthy food policies.
  • Support fair and equitable growing practices

Our Commitment to Long-term Change

We are committed to addressing the root causes of hunger through the following actions:

  • Provide a pathway to livable-wage employment or furthered education opportunities
  • Encourage asset-building opportunities
  • Address the barriers created by lack of public transportation in northern Kent County
  • Advocate for living wages
  • Advocate for affordable housing in northern Kent County

Healthy Food Donation Guide

Grains

  • Whole grain bread or pasta
  • Whole grain, high fiber cereal
  • Hearty whole grains (be sure the first ingredient states “whole grain”) such as amaranth, barley, bulgur, buckwheat, cornmeal, millet, oatmeal, quinoa, steel cut oats, rye, teff, wheatberries, brown or wild rice
  • Popcorn kernels (not microwave popcorn)

Fruits & Vegetables

  • All fresh and frozen vegetables
  • All frozen fruits and vegetables (low sodium, no added sugar)
  • All canned vegetables (low sodium, no added sugar)
  • All canned fruits (canned in 100% juice)
  • Unsweetened applesauce
  • 100% fruit or vegetable juice (no added sugars or sweeteners, low sodium, no added salt)
  • 100% dried fruit (no sugar added)

Dairy

  • Low-fat (1% or less) milk (unflavored)
  • Low-fat (1% or less) powdered or boxed milk
  • Low-fat (1% or less) yogurt (plain or light)
  • Reduced fat (2% or less) cheese
  • Milk alternatives: Soy, almond, rice, coconut (unsweetened, fortified with calcium and vitamin D)

Lean Proteins

  • Lean or extra lean ground meat or poultry
  • Fresh whole eggs or egg whites
  • Fresh or frozen skinless chicken or turkey (breast preferred)
  • Canned tuna or chicken in water
  • Fish (fresh, frozen, or canned in water)
  • Vegetarian options (tofu, tempeh, meat alternatives)
  • Canned/dry beans or lentils (no added sodium or low sodium)
  • Nuts or seeds (unsalted, no added sugar)
  • Nut or seed butters (unsalted, no added sugar, no partially hydrogenated oil)

Donated Meats (e.g. Venison, Pork, Beef): Donation Protocol

At certain times of the year, we have an abundance of calls about donations of venison (deer) meat and 4-H animal donations. We would love to be able to give donated meat away in our Free Pantry to our clients. It is a great way to provide healthy protein options for our Clients. However, unless the it is labeled and packaged according to these guidelines provided to us by MDARD, we cannot accept it.

We cannot accept home processed and packaged venison under any circumstance! That said:

  • Venison must be processed by a MDARD licensed facility and be properly labeled.
  • Beef and pork must be processed at a facility that can have the meat USDA inspected. The meat must be properly labeled with:
    • the cut of the meat
    • weight
    • name and address of responsible party
    • have the USDA seal of inspection