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Choosing Healthy Options Program (CHOP)
What is CHOP?- CHOP is a food rating program developed by the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank. Its focus is making healthier options available to both food pantries and their clients.

How do I use it? It’s easy! When ordering from the Food Bank for the Heartland, choose the options that have the lowest number. This tells how healthy the product is.

CHOP 1= choose frequently

CHOP 2= choose occasionally

CHOP 3= choose sparingly


How does it work?- The program takes into account different nutrient, vitamin, sodium and protein levels. Each food is rated with like foods (cereals are not compared to meats). Some foods are not rated, such as condiments, because they have minimal nutrient values.

Examples with cereals:

CHOP 1= Honey Bunches of Oats- high in fiber, low sugar, whole grain

CHOP 2= Toasty O’s- low fiber, not packed with sugar, some whole grains

CHOP 3= Fruit Loops- low fiber, high sugar, low whole grains


Why should I use CHOP?  As a place that supplies food to people in need, we should try to give out the healthiest options that we can. The foods that are more nutritious are often more expensive in stores, so if we have the option to give it to people, it will have a positive impact in their lives in both the short term and the long term—a short-term impact is that children will do better in school. When they are not hungry, they will be able to focus on their school work.  A long-term impact is that it will decrease and/or lower the risk of chronic diseases for both children and adults.


Where can I find the CHOP rating? In Agency Express (Online Ordering), the CHOP rate of the food will be under the Item No. tab. Simply click the blue number and the item details will pop up. Under Extra Info. will be the CHOP rating. If there is no rate number, it:

1. Has not been put into the system yet

2. Is in cases that have a variety of items, so it cannot be rated

3. Has minimal content meaning that it is an item like condiments

If you or your clients have questions or would like more information on how to use CHOP in your pantry please contact us.

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