Pack the pantries: Making sure pantries are filled with nutritious foods

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - As we pack the pantries, we know you want to make sure Hoosier families are getting the best food possible.

That's why Gleaner's recently hired its first nutritionist and is now offering cooking classes under a program called Cooking Matters.

"We want to make sure we're not just filling bellies," said Nutrition Manager Sarah Huber. "We want to make sure that our quality and our nutrition is the best that we possibly can give."

At the cooking classes, instructors take fresh ingredients you'd find at the food pantry and they teach clients how to use them to make simple, but delicious meals.

"This class really connects the fresh healthy food that we're providing in our pantry with how do we use it at home? How do we make that practical for families? How can we plan meals on a budget? And do that in a really fun and interactive way."

Everyone is welcome, even those who don't use the pantry. Stephanie Groves is taking the class just to better take care of her body.

"I'm kind of in the dog house with my doctor right now so anybody that I can utilize is gonna help me do better, I'm gonna take that opportunity," said Groves.

An opportunity to lead a healthier life is now front and center as Gleaners feeds thousands of Hoosiers.

"When you're making meals at home and they're nutritious and they're tasty, you're saving money. You're not eating out." said Huber. "It's really changing how families are approaching food and how they're using the food that we're providing in our pantry."