History of Leah's Pantry

At the beginning, Leah’s Pantry was created to serve young children and their parents. When Adrienne Markworth, Leah's Pantry Founder and Executive Director, started her family she was surprised at how much time she was spending learning to feed her growing baby. At the same time, she was working with a group of Jesuit Volunteers doing a service year at a few of San Francisco's amazing homeless services organizations. The volunteers shared the difficulties that homeless parents faced to find nutritious and appropriate foods for their young children. As a former high school educator and owner of an organic baby food company, Adrienne decided to explore ways to support parents emerging from homelessness who wanted to help their children grow healthy brains and bodies. In 2006, Adrienne met the leadership of Clara House, a transitional housing shelter part of Compass Family Services. Leah’s Pantry began with one cooking and nutrition workshop for Clara House parents and quickly expanded to serve seniors, kids and non-parenting adults. Through an extensive statewide partnership with BRIDGE Housing, the Food Smarts curriculum emerged and was translated into Spanish, Russian and Chinese to meet the demand from clients. Exponential growth came through a nutrition education partnership with the SF-Marin Food Bank, which resulted in USDA/SNAP-Ed funding for a wide variety of nutrition education programs, including the development of the Eatfresh.org Portfolio. Over the past 10 years, Leah's Pantry has expanded throughout California through collaborative partnerships with regional food banks, government public health and human services agencies, and more than 250 community-based organizations (CBOs), schools, and housing providers. Leah's Pantry has expanded its reach and impact via: its train-the-trainer program (Food Smarts Training Program), technology interventions like Eatfresh.org, and various culturally-competent cookbook and recipe projects. To learn more about our work and staff, please visit What we do and Who we are.

Why what we do makes a difference:

The Chronic Disease epidemic has disastrous consequences on individual lives, our healthcare system and on our workforce and economy.  In California...add info here.

Nutrition education is an important piece of chronic disease prevention. [read and quote the eatright.org article on the trello card]

However, nutrition education needs to be tailored to different populations.  Talk about cultural relevancy and food insecurity here. Food insecurity affects many low-income Californians. [add in stats here] Poverty reduces the choices that individuals have with regards the types of foods they are able to find and purchase....need for nutrition education information

Leah's Pantry's Food Smarts and Eatfresh.org interventions provide interactive, culturally relevant and appropriate content to populations which spur healthy changes in knowledge, attitude and behaviors.  Leah's Pantry's focus on building meaningful and collaborative relationships with both individuals and partner agencies ensures we are working with vulnerable communities in positive and effective ways...


 Participants doing a cherry tomato "taste test" during a Food Smarts workshop. 

Participants doing a cherry tomato "taste test" during a Food Smarts workshop. 

Additional Resources 

Contact Person:
Danielle Boulé