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Food Banks

One of the main functions of a food bank is to alleviate hunger that affects children, seniors, individuals, and families.The primary purpose of a food bank is to help ensure an adequate flow of food through other community-based organizations. Food banks have been in existence since 1967, starting in Phoenix, Arizona. Food banks receive their food from companies or supermarkets, and also from donations from private citizens and the general public. The U.S. government and state governments often contract with food banks to distribute USDA surplus commodities and FEMA food.

Food banks have assisted many charitable community agencies such as, shelters, childcare centers, soup kitchens, churches, food pantries, and emergency shelters. These agencies are usually non-profit organizations.

Food banks distribute goods such as fresh produce, bakery products, frozen foods, boxed dry groceries, emergency boxes for individuals, canned goods, and some non-food distributions. During the year there may be food drives that assist in the collection of canned goods such as, the United States Postal Service, individual educational facilities, and private corporations.

Today, approximately 80 percent of all food banks in the United States are networked through an organization called "Feeding America" formally called America's Second Harvest.

As an individual, you can help within your community by participating in local food drives, donating your extra food to food banks, and helping others in need by telling them about a local food bank.

In the map below, click on your state to find locations and more information about food banks.

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