CHOP: The Choosing Healthy Options Program


The Choosing Healthy Options Program (CHOP) is an inventory ranking system that simplifies nutrition. CHOP helps food banks and their partners acquire, distribute and promote healthier food. CHOP is a tool that helps us fight hunger, feed hope and fuel health in our community.

CHOP uses the Nutrition Facts Label and ingredient list to analyze and rank food, comparatively. Foods are organized into categories and ranked among other similar foods. For example, vegetables are ranked among other vegetables. Beverages are ranked among other beverages. Snacks & desserts are ranked among other snacks & desserts, and so on.

Foods will receive a ranking of 1 (choose frequently), 2 (choose occasionally), 3 (choose sparingly) or MC (minimal contribution). Items with more saturated fat, trans fat, sodium, cholesterol, and added sugar rank closer to a 3. Items with more fiber, vitamins, and minerals rank closer to a 1. These rankings are a simple way agencies can select the most nutritious items in our warehouse to distribute to their clients.

Below are a few examples of items in our warehouse with their ranking.

Ranking 1: Choose frequently

  • Baby food
  • Collard greens
  • Dried or canned beans
  • Fresh or shelf stable milk
  • Fresh produce
  • Pasta
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Toasted oats cereal
  • Tuna
  • 100% fruit juice

Ranking 2: Choose occasionally

  • Beans & franks
  • Canned peaches
  • Chicken or vegetable soup
  • Chocolate pudding
  • Granola bar
  • Ravioli
  • Spaghetti sauce
  • Vienna sausages

Ranking 3: Choose sparingly

  • Canned pork
  • Cheese crackers
  • Cheeseburger skillet meal helper
  • Cookies
  • Corn beef hash
  • Fruit flavored drinks
  • Packaged noodle soups
  • Soda

MC: Minimal contribution

In this ranking you would find food items such as condiments, coffee and tea.


If you have any questions about CHOP, contact Nutrition Manager – Maria Ali, RD, LD/N at

CHOP® Choosing Healthy Options Program is a project of Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank.


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