$1 helps provide $20 worth of groceries (wholesale value) for the 38 million individuals served who are currently facing hunger as the COVID-19 pandemic persists in the U.S.
WHO WE ARE: Feeding America is a nationwide network of 199 member food banks that leads the fight against hunger in the U.S. In 2020, 60 million people were served by the charitable food system. As a result of COVID-19, Feeding America provided 6.6 billion meals to people facing hunger, an increase of 2 billion meals over 2019, serving individuals, children, families, seniors in rural, suburban and urban areas across the U.S. Currently, the USDA reports that 38 million people, which is 1 in 9, face hunger, including 11 million children. We work through 60,000 food pantries and meal programs and engage more than 2 million volunteers monthly in communities across the U.S. Feeding America also supports programs that improve food security among the people we serve; educates the public about the issue of hunger; and advocates for legislation that protects people so they do not have to struggle with hunger.
HOW WE WORK: The process of getting food to Americans in need requires a dynamic infrastructure and sophisticated management. Feeding America cultivates partnerships to secure donations from national food and grocery manufacturers, retailers, foodservice locations, shippers, packers and growers and from government agencies, and other organizations.
Then, coordinates transportation of donations to member food banks, which ensure the safe storage and reliable distribution of food to local food pantries and meal programs, which in turn, provide the food and grocery items directly to people in need in local communities across the U.S.
INNOVATIVE STRATEGIES: Feeding America develops innovative strategies that help us capture and distribute more food with the greatest efficiency. We are focused on ensuring that the people we serve have access to enough nutritious food for themselves and their families.
To do this, the network is sourcing and distributing more “Foods to Encourage”—foods that promote good health and align with the USDA’s Dietary Guidelines, such as fruits, vegetables, dairy, whole grains and protein. Today, 71% of food received by the network is classified as Foods to Encourage.
Additionally, we are setting goals to source a specific amount of protein, dairy and fruits and vegetables each year, with anticipated growth over time.
Feeding America also has made large investments to secure more fresh fruits and vegetables to help support the health and wellness among the people we serve. Partnerships with growers, packers, and industry experts help Feeding America identify and secure billions of pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables each year for people facing hunger. Further, Feeding America has established regional produce cooperatives, which are central processing facilities run by food banks, which can take in large amounts of produce and distribute it in more manageable quantities to local food banks. We are also deepening our relationships within the agricultural sector and streamlining the donation process to make it easier for growers to donate fruits and vegetables from multiple locations.
FOOD RESCUE: Feeding America is the leading food-rescue partner across the food industry, increasing the number of meals available to families while helping to reduce food waste. Thanks to our national and local partnerships with retailers, manufacturers, foodservice operators, farmers and others, the Feeding America network has been able to divert 4.7 billion pounds of good food from being thrown away and provide it to families in need.
Feeding America also is pursuing a transformative new opportunity to rescue food from foodservice partners and has implemented a program to rescue food from foodservice partners by building national relationships with foodservice donors and creating tools so the network can leverage this largely untapped meal source. Feeding America's MealConnect™ is a technology platform that makes it easier than ever to connect donors with surplus food, like restaurants and food service organizations, to their local Feeding America member food banks and their partners. This donor portal is the only tool of its kind available on a national scale that can ensure high food safety standards. MealConnect™ allows for easier pickups, easier tracking and easier receipt recording for any type of donation. Plus, donors feel great knowing they’re reducing food waste while providing hunger relief right in their local community.
DISASTER and COVID-19 RELIEF: Persistent hunger can be thought of as a day-to-day disaster, because hunger occurs every day in our country with devastating results. Natural disasters and other large-scale community crises, like the COVID-19 pandemic, further exacerbate food insecurity. For the people who may have been living in vulnerable conditions prior to a disaster, the loss of a home, car or job can change their lives quickly and leave them unable to meet their basic needs. High unemployment due to the pandemic resulted in a dramatic increase in the number of individuals and families who need emergency food assistance—40% for the first time during the COVID-19 national crisis.
Feeding America’s Disaster Relief Program provides food and emergency supplies that people rely on to cope with the impact of disasters—from the COVID-19 national crisis to the disasters within the pandemic - hurricanes, wild fires and the floods that capture national attention to the local disasters that may not make the headlines but have a devastating impact on individual communities. Every step of the way, Feeding America is there for disaster victims, offering food and hope throughout the recovery process.
In the face of these challenges, Feeding America brings a network of warehouses, trucks and logistical solutions to deliver food, water and supplies to people facing hunger. With decades of experience in disaster response, we have a distinguished track record of deploying vital resources where they are most needed quickly and efficiently in the immediate aftermath of disasters and throughout long recovery periods.
ENDING HUNGER STRATEGY: In addition to providing meals to millions of families today, Feeding America is on a strategic path toward ending hunger. Only when all children have enough nutritious food to grow and learn and their families have enough food to stay healthy will we ensure a stronger future for America. Together, we can help more families achieve food security so that all have a chance to fulfill their potential and build a bright future for themselves and their communities.