Food Bank News

Tangelo, Hunger Free America Partner on SNAP Benefits

Struggle often breeds innovation, a concept that Jeremy Cooley, CEO of Tangelo, an online e-commerce platform, understands. Cooley made it his mission to highlight the importance of nutritious food after 2017, when his father was diagnosed with terminal cancer and given six months to live. After proper nutrition helped extend his father’s life another two years, Tangelo was born, both to honor his father’s memory and further the vision of educating people on nutrition and providing healthy food for everyone.
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Demand for Charitable Food Remains Unnaturally High

Food banks agree that demand for food assistance has remained unusually high, even as the pandemic has eased. Now Feeding America has put a number on that demand. In a report released last week, it found that an estimated 53 million people received charitable food assistance in 2021. That’s down from 60 million in 2020 when the pandemic was raging, but still well above the 40 million who received charitable food in 2019. Put another way, 33% more people were still getting charitable food in 2021 versus before the pandemic.
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USDA Invests to Boost Access to Nutritious Food

Food banks and pantries can look forward to increased opportunities to create more resilient, food-secure communities, thanks to comprehensive funding recently announced by the USDA that promises to overhaul the framework of the American food system. Announced June 1, USDA’s Food System Transformation framework fills in the details of a...

Why These Food Pantries Love Online Ordering

More food pantries are finding reasons to love online ordering. Online ordering systems empower clients to choose their food in a high-tech format, just as they would through Instacart, giving them a more dignified and convenient way to access charitable food. It’s a big step up from more traditional “grab-and-go” approaches, where clients pick up pre-packaged bags.

mRelief Enlists Food Banks to Help Unlock SNAP Benefits

Technology nonprofit mRelief has already helped people access nearly $1 billion in SNAP benefits since its inception, and now it is looking to food banks nationwide to help it unlock even more funds. The Chicago-based firm, founded in 2014, specializes in increasing awareness of SNAP and simplifying the bulky process...

Oregon Food Bank’s Strategy for a More Just Society

When Susannah Morgan started working in hunger relief 26 years ago, she believed that getting more food to more people was the answer to eliminating hunger. Now she understands the problem of hunger differently – and it’s changing everything about the way she approaches her job as CEO of Oregon Food Bank.

How Clients are Shaping Food Bank Advocacy

When food banks follow the guidance of their clients, they often find themselves advocating about issues they hadn’t realized were so relevant to food insecurity. Lobbying for community-oriented policing, more grocery stores and telephone-based signatures for SNAP are among the advocacy efforts some food banks are newly engaged in, thanks to input from clients with lived experience of hunger and poverty.

Map Pinpoints Pantry Needs, Spurs Donations

A color-coded map is helping food pantries across the nation get the food aid they need when they need it. Souper Bowl of Caring launched the Tackle Hunger Map at the beginning of the pandemic as a way to show the “real-time need” of food charities across the United States. The map lets charities log their inventory, so donors around the country know which pantries have the highest and lowest need.

More Food Banks Lift Wages, Setting an Example

These days, it is hard to find a food bank that is not making adjustments to pay or thinking about it, especially for lower-wage workers. Food banks across the country and in Canada report undertaking compensation studies and/or instituting wage increases to ensure employees are getting fair pay and can afford basic costs of living, like food and shelter, in their areas.

Calif. Program Would Rev Up Healthy Food Purchases

Legislation pending in California would supercharge the way healthy incentive programs (often known as Double Up Food Bucks) work, potentially having an outsized impact on the ability of SNAP recipients in the state to afford and eat more nutritious food. At the heart of the program is technology that automatically...

Personal Essay: Living on Almost Nothing

I have a crinkled $20 bill in my pocket, and I’m standing in the first aisle of the Kent Save-A-Lot trying to make the paper a little bit thicker so it can last for the next 10 days. It’s not the first time I’ve been here, but I can’t...

How Food Banks are Leaning Into Nutrition

Food banks have long emphasized better nutrition in the food they distribute. Now, serious structural changes are making elevated nutritional quality a lasting characteristic of food banking. The most important of these may be the development of nutrition guidelines specifically for use in the charitable food system. Introduced two years...

Outdoor Fridges Boost Fresh Produce Access

For some, innovation means thinking outside the box. For South Carolina’s Lowcountry Food Bank, innovation has meant putting the box outside. Lowcountry installed an outdoor refrigerated shipping container (known as a “Conex,” short for Container Express) at each of three partner agency locations. The 10×20-foot outdoor units, which were installed for $35,000 apiece, are transforming access to fresh, perishable produce in the South Carolina Lowcountry.

WhyHunger’s Root-Cause Messaging Starts to Sink In

WhyHunger has long advocated that food is not the answer to hunger. Now it has affirmation that the general population is starting to get it. Its recent survey of 1,060 U.S. adults across all income levels found that people are acknowledging ways of solving hunger that have nothing to do with food. Sixty-nine percent said ending hunger in the U.S. is a political choice, while 59% said hunger cannot be solved without addressing root causes like economic injustice, racism and low wages.

Fighting Stigma in Hunger Relief, One Small Step at a Time

When it comes to countering stigma, it’s the little things that matter. Food banks and pantries are striving to convey greater respect to clients as a way to combat the stigma that either prevents people from getting food in the first place or makes them feel bad while they do. They are finding that small actions, like normalizing the food pantry experience by advertising it in the local newspaper, can make a difference.

Toronto Study: How Gov’t Policies Impact Food-Bank Visits

Neil Hetherington and his team at Daily Bread Food Bank in Toronto have long vocalized that government policies impact how often people visit food banks. Now they have data to back up that assertion. The food bank supplied monthly usage data from January 2014 through March 2020 to researchers at...

How Midwest Food Bank is Supporting Ukraine

Midwest Food Bank is responding to the war in Ukraine by working with a global charitable food distributor to ship nutritious shelf-stable meals to the war-torn region. The Normal, Ill.-based food bank is sending nearly a quarter of a million meals to the area through a partnership with Convoy of Hope, a U.S.-based organization that provides food and disaster relief via a global network.