Market Pantry

Fresh food and more for qualified Clients of North Kent Connect

Hours of Operation

Our FREE Market Pantry is now open INSIDE for NKC Clients on Mondays & Wednesdays from 9:00 a.m. to 2:45 p.m., and on Thursdays from 10:00 a.m. to 4:45 p.m.

To pre-order your monthly pantry items, clink the link below and call a North Kent Connect Case Manager. All fresh produce and meats can be selected at pick-up time.

Pantry Order Sheet (UPDATED FOR FALL 2020): https://nkconnect.org/market-pantry-order-sheet/

If you arrive without ordering – it’s ok! We can still take your order and pack your items while you wait. Pre-packed bags will be available if you are short on time.

You must be a client of North Kent Connect to visit the Market Pantry. You can visit the Market Pantry once a month. You can also request referrals to our Partner Pantries. [MORE]

As of Sept. 28, 2020, our Market Pantry has moved back INSIDE!

Please note the following requirements before arriving:

  • Masks are REQUIRED (if you cannot wear a mask, please contact us to make other arrangements)
  • If you cannot wear a mask, you will be able to drive up to the side door to pick up your food. Please let a Case Manager know to make that arrangement.

When you arrive at North Kent Connect on your Pantry Day, PLEASE:

  • Check in at the front desk
  • ONLY 1 PERSON PER HOUSEHOLD can visit the indoor pantry
  • Wait on an “X” until your turn, maintaining 6 ft. distance
  • To stay below COVID-capacity, you may be asked to wait in your car until you are called back in
  • Take your pantry slip to the Market Pantry in the back corner and stand on an “X” until your turn, maintaining 6 ft. distance
  • You will receive pre-packed bag(s) of shelf-stable items and choose your meats, produce, dairy & personal care items at time of pick-up
  • You may PRE-ORDER your shelf-stable items by calling a Case Manager at (616) 866-3478 at least 30 minutes prior to your arrival
  • Hours will remain: Mondays & Wednesdays from 9 .a.m.-2 :45 p.m. and Thursdays from 10 a.m.- 4:45 p.m.

About our Market Pantry

When you walk into our Market Pantry, you won’t see shelves of macaroni and cheese, Pop-Tarts, Fruit Loops, and Ramen noodles. Instead you’ll see a counter of fresh produce and shelves of whole grain pasta, dried beans, and low-sugar cereals.

North Kent Connect made this institutional change for our families because we care about their well-being. We heard from clients that they appreciated pantries with fresh food, lean proteins, and dairy. We knew from experience that these types of items flew off the shelves. We learned from research that low-income families tend to experience more health issues like high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease. With this in mind, we made the switch from a traditional food pantry to The Market Pantry – a food pantry that offers healthy food to families who need it the most.

Fighting Food Insecurity

“Food Insecurity” refers to the USDA’s measure of lack of access to enough food for a healthy lifestyle for a family.

These families may not be food insecure all the time, but they often lack nutritious food and instead turn to inexpensive, sugary and calorie-dense food. Often, these families need to make a trade-off between basic needs such as housing or medical bills, and purchasing nutritionally adequate food.

In Kent County, nearly 15% of households are food insecure. To combat these statistics, North Kent Connect provides an array of food programs, such as our Market Pantry.

Ways to Help Support our Market Pantry

We are always in need of donations of healthy foods to keep our Market Pantry stocked. If you would like to donate items, here are the most requested:

  • Cereal and other healthy grains (quinoa, rice)
  • Canned fruit (peaches, pears, anything low-sugar)
  • Canned pasta sauce (no glass, please)
  • Pasta

Help us provide these nutritious foods for our clients. We’re also looking for fresh produce, lean proteins, and dairy products.

Our food donation hours are as follows:

Monday & Wednesday
8 a.m. – 4 p.m.