Pantry helps people with certain dietary needs

KENTWOOD, Mich. (WZZM) -- Pantries provide food for people in need across West Michigan. But for those who have diabetes, a wheat allergy, or another need, finding the proper food can be difficult.

Michele Childs says she used to be morbidly obese, but got her weight and her diabetes under control thanks to the Nutritional Options for Wellness program at Streams of Hope.

With "the expenses of food right now for a healthy diet, I wouldn't have been able to afford it -- so this program really helped," Childs said.

This unique pantry also focuses on people with different types of chronic diseases. Barb Nauta is the director and says, "Chronic disease might be diabetes...COPD. They are referred by their physician to come to our pantry to be placed on a nutritional program, and we got some products in our pantry that we would love to show you. So if I have diabetes, you can show me what food I can eat."

Bob Storteboom gave us the tour of the pantry.

"The first thing we want to show you is the fresh vegetables. These are very important to a diabetic. We carry no-salt vegetables, low sugar fruits. In our grain section, we want whole grain cereals, and we want whole grain pastas. We also have a gluten-free section for those that have Celiac disease. They cannot have wheat products."

The pantry also offers a variety of educational programs.

People who want to support this particular pantry can donate at the Streams of Hope facility, 280 60th St., or at any 13 Food for Families drop-off location.


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