House of Hope is fresh!

Volunteers Ray Nappi and Jon Ludlam in the Stuart food pantry, with just some of the beautiful organic red peppers from Organic Farms International.

Volunteers Ray Nappi and Jon Ludlam, with some of the red peppers from Florida Organic Farms.

House of Hope has received a bounty of fresh food this week.

Many thanks go to the following companies for their fresh and healthy gifts:

This fresh food is being distributed to Martin County residents in need at the main Stuart food pantry as well as House of Hope’s branch service centers — Hobe Sound, Indiantown and Jensen Beach.

The abundance of peppers also was shared with the Treasure Coast Food Bank, which will spread the nutritious, delicious food to other local pantries and hot meal sites.

About the food pantry program

Throughout 2015, House of Hope distributed 663,000 pounds of food to Martin County residents in need, serving an average of 4,650 people each month.

Volunteer Audra Winn with a whole bunch of bananas from Erneston Produce.

Volunteer Audra Winn with a whole bunch of bananas from Erneston Produce.

The House of Hope food pantries are operated on a Client Choice model, meaning that people who qualify get to shop — at no cost — for a full array of grocery products.

The process empowers clients to make healthy choices, perhaps with the guidance of staff or volunteers. Recipes are often available, especially for items that are unusual or in abundance.

Food pantry items typically include fresh fruits and vegetables, frozen meat, bread and pastries, canned and dry goods, peanut butter & jelly, deli and dairy items, juice and other beverages. When available, the pantry also offers toiletries, diapers, cleaning products and paper goods.

In between their full shopping experience, clients can come to House of Hope every day for bread and produce, which has been donated by Publix and Fresh Market.

House of Hope food distribution manager Dave Lee shows off the fresh arugula from Ground Floor Farms.

House of Hope food distribution manager Dave Lee shows off the fresh arugula from Ground Floor Farms.

For people who are homeless, House of Hope offers a “day bag,” which typically contains pop-top, single-portion entrees, vegetables and fruit; juice boxes; cold drinks; granola bars and other snacks; fresh deli sandwiches, if available; and personal hygiene products.

In total, the House of Hope pantry service could equate to about $350 in a month, helping families and individuals meet their nutritional needs while freeing up money that they can point toward other household expenses.

Most of the food in the pantry program has been donated directly to House of Hope. The rest is purchased through donated dollars, especially the meat products.

Food donations range from the massive Stamp Out Hunger food drive each May, to people who donate a grocery bag of buy-one, get-one-free items. And, of course, we often receive delicious, nutritious fresh fruit and vegetables straight from the farm.

For information conducting a food drive or donating food, please visit our food drive page.

About House of Hope

House of Hope touches the lives of about 5,000 Martin County residents per month with services that include basic needs — food, clothing, furniture, financial assistance — and long-term case management that helps people build life skills for a more self-sufficient future. The agency has service centers and thrift stores in Stuart, Hobe Sound, Indiantown and Jensen Beach.

For more information about House of Hope, visit www.hohmartin.org or call (772) 286-4673.