Diet plays an important role in reducing the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease.  But with so many food choices available it can be difficult to determine what’s best to eat.  The Greater Boston Food Bank (GBFB) understands the importance of healthy diet and is committed to providing nutritious options.  To determine what foods are nutritious, GBFB uses CHOP (Choosing Healthy Options Program) to rank all food that comes into the building.  CHOP was developed by the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank and it simplifies nutrition facts labels into a 3-point scale.  The rankings and some examples are as follows:

1-Choose Frequently: these are nutrient dense foods such as fresh produce.

2-Choose Occasionally: food items that offer good nutrition but should be enjoyed once in a while.

3-Choose Rarely: foods that should be considered a special treat instead of eaten regularly.

MC-minimum content: items that do not have much nutritive value. Condiments are an example of items found in this category.

NR-not ranked: some items cannot be ranked because they are non-food or they are part of an assortment.

GBFB ensures at least 80% of inventory is comprised of nutritious foods; meaning they rank a 1 or 2.  Nutrition ranking information for each product in our warehouse can be viewed by member agencies in ShopGBFB when they place their orders through our online shopping platform.  We also perform a nutrient analysis on all the recipes in Click ‘N Cook and designate a nutrition ranking.  The nutrition ranking is a quick and easy way to determine what’s a healthy choice and what’s considered a special treat.

Written by Lauren Casale RD, LDN