JFS SOVA Celebrates Completion of the Nutrition Pantry Program 

On January 9th, the JFS SOVA Community Food & Resource Program (JFS SOVA) held a ceremony at the SOVA pantry in the Valley to congratulate the staff who completed the Nutrition Pantry Program.

The Nutrition Pantry Program (NPP), part of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education (SNAP-Ed), a federal program of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, is a training course offered by Leah’s Pantry, a California nonprofit. The training has many focuses, including helping community partners understand how to apply a trauma-informed approach to food distribution. JFS SOVA pantry staff also learned how to review client feedback, connect with community partners, the importance of nutritional education, cultural and dietary accommodations, inventory issues, waste reduction, and more. The JFS SOVA staff members that participated were Kathi Dawidowicz, Supply and Logistics Manager; Lynda Alter, Client Services Manager; Dennis Schoenrock, Pantry Operations Manager; and Stella Souza, Pantry Assistant.

“We now offer SOVA clients recipes, cooking classes in partnership with the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank, and nutritional information such as rinsing canned items to lessen salt intake,” said Kathi. “In addition, the training gave us an understanding of the different types of trauma clients may experience and were trained on how to communicate with clients who may be expressing anger or frustration.”

Staff members earned a gold level certification for both JFS SOVA pantries and the pantry was awarded $20,000 to further improve its client engagement and pantry environment.  “This certification reveals how much we care about our SOVA Program Participants’ access to healthy groceries and nutritional education,” said Kathi.

JFS SOVA staff also gained access to additional resources and joined a national network of pantry partners. JFS SOVA serves about 1,360 clients per week. For more information about our food insecurity programs, please visit