Learn More about Feeding America
Due to COVID 19 impact, more than 37 MILLION people in the US — including 11 million children and 5.5 million seniors— are facing food insecurity. In addition there has been a 70% increase in demand from food banks.
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In a country that wastes billions of pounds of food each year, it’s almost shocking that anyone in America goes hungry. Yet every day, there are millions of children and adults who do not get the meals they need to thrive. We work to get nourishing food – from farmers, manufacturers, and retailers – to people in need. At the same time, we also seek to help the people we serve to build a path to a brighter, food-secure future.
For more than 40 years, Feeding America has responded to the needs of individuals struggling with food insecurity in this country. In times of uncertainty, we have not wavered from our mission to end the fight against hunger.
4 billion meals, one act of kindness at a time
When you support Feeding America, you are helping our nationwide network of food banks deliver programs at the front line of hunger. Programs like school-based food pantries, emergency disaster relief, and Kids’ Cafe.
When people face hunger, they often struggle to meet other basic needs as well — such as housing, employment and healthcare. That’s why Feeding America is committed to more than providing food for people in need.
Strengthening Pathways Out of Hunger
Though the economy is improving since the Great Recession, many Americans are still struggling to make ends meet. Currently, 37 million in the U.S. face hunger — a crisis in which underemployment, stagnant wages and rising costs of living are all playing a role.
That means for many of our neighbors, putting food on the table remains a daily struggle.
We recognize that hunger is a complex issue. When people face hunger, they often struggle to meet other basic needs as well — such as housing, employment, and healthcare. That’s why Feeding America is committed to more than providing food for people in need. We also want to make progress toward ending hunger for good. To do this, Feeding America aims to meet people’s needs holistically by partnering with other organizations that address everything from homelessness to health care. Together, we can find the most innovative ways to help the people we serve and achieve a hunger-free America.
From Washington to your hometown, we’re advocating for Americans facing hunger.
Federal and state food assistance is critical to ending hunger. Feeding America works hard to protect and promote government programs that help families facing hunger meet their basic nutritional needs. With your help, we can:
- Advocate for local and national programs, including SNAP (formerly Food Stamps), that help families and households facing hunger
- Lobby responsibly for issues we believe can have a major impact on hunger in America
We can’t do this essential work without you. Learn more about how we’re advocating to protect people in need, and how you can get involved.
Feeding America food banks do much more than distribute food.
Food banks in the Feeding America network anticipate and adjust to the needs of the communities they serve. Distributing food to children, seniors and families in need is their first priority, but Feeding America member food banks also offer:
- Community-specific programs that respond to the changing needs of the people they serve
- Programs that help families manage the relationship between food and wellness
- Programs that help families and households identify food-related ways to keep children healthy
- Ways to help families and households create and follow a food budget or find government programs
Mobile Food Pantry Program
The Mobile Pantry Program directly serves clients in areas of high need in an effort to supplement other hunger-relief agencies in that area. Through a Mobile Pantry, a truckload of food is distributed to clients in pre-packed boxes or through a farmers market-style distribution where clients choose to take what they need.
The Mobile Pantry Program expands the capacity of the Feeding America network to make food more accessible in underserved communities where people with limited financial resources may not be able to access food through traditional grocery stores or food pantries. This allows food banks to provide rescued food and grocery products – including meat, produce, and baked goods – to people more quickly and flexibly.
Does Your Local Feeding America Food Bank Operate a Mobile Pantry Program?
Use the Food Bank Locator to contact your local food bank and find out what it is doing in your community.
How Feeding America Responds to Disasters
When disaster strikes, Feeding America is on the ground and ready to provide food assistance and emergency supplies. Our extensive network of food banks reaches every county in every corner of our nation- making us uniquely prepared to respond in the event of a disaster.
The Feeding America network positions emergency food supplies throughout the country to distribute quickly in the event of a disaster. We also establish and strengthen partnerships that provide access to equipment and supplies when needed. Through our day-to-day hunger-relief operations, we help low-income and at-risk populations who are disproportionately impacted by natural disasters.
During a disaster, Feeding America leverages our nationwide network—including 10 million square feet of warehouse space and 2,400 trucks that are used every day to bring food to people in need. These logistical solutions are repurposed for disaster relief when needed and are vital to delivering food, water, and supplies.
Feeding America remains rooted in communities long after other disaster organizations have moved on. Our member food banks are major contributors to long-term disaster recovery efforts.
Summer Food Service Programs
During the school year, 22 million children receive free or reduced-price school meals through the National School Lunch Program. When school is out during the summer, only 1 in 6 kids still have access to those meals through the USDA Summer Food Service Program.
Food banks, community centers, park districts, schools, and other organizations are working together to make sure kids and teens still have the meals they need during the summer.
What are summer food service programs?
Summer food service programs, also called summer meal programs or summer lunch programs, are free meal sites that help kids and teens up to 18 years of age when school is out in June, July, and August. The free meals are offered at safe, supervised places in your community like churches, schools, libraries, and community centers.
Kids and teens can just show up during the scheduled meal hours and receive a free meal. Some summer programs provide breakfast and lunch. There may also be summer activities or learning programs available during mealtimes. No paperwork or proof of income is required to receive free breakfast or lunch.
Are summer meal programs still running during the 2020 COVID pandemic?
Yes, but to keep our communities safe, there will be some changes at your local meal sites. Some summer meal programs offer:
- Grab-and-go meals so kids can follow social distancing guidelines
- Pre-packed breakfasts and lunches or groceries for multiple days
- Pick up meals at school meal distributions
- Meal delivery to bus stops, public housing or other central locations
Check with the summer meal site you want to visit for up-to-date details on how they are helping to keep kids safe during the pandemic.
How do I find a 2020 summer meal program in my community?
Summer meal programs can be difficult to find so here are three easy ways to find your nearest free meal site.
- Text: You can find meal programs near you by texting the word FOOD to 877-877, thanks to our friends at No Kid Hungry. You’ll get a message with nearby locations. Data and message rates may apply.
- Call: Calling the USDA Hotline at 1-866-348-6479 is another great way to find free summer food service programs in your area.
- Ask Your Local Food Bank: Search by zip code or state using the food bank locator and contact the food bank nearest you. Even if the food bank looks far away, they often work with meal programs closer to your home.
How are the summer meal programs funded?
Some summer meal programs are funded by the federal government through the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Food banks then purchase and deliver these meals to existing youth programs within your community. Last year, the Feeding America network of food banks served almost 7 million meals to more than 220,000 children through the Summer Food Service Program.
What can I do to help?
Summer meal programs can be hard to find, and many families don’t know they’re available. The best way to help is by sharing information with your neighbors about how they can get free meals during the summer if they are in need.
Interested in doing more to help fight summer hunger? You can:
- Ask your elected officials to help keep federal programs like the summer meals program going
- Donate to the Feeding America network of 200 community food banks
- Volunteer at food banks providing summer meals for kids
Twenty-two million children receive free or reduced-price meals through the National School Lunch Program and the National School Breakfast Program. For many of these children, school meals may be the only meals they eat. What happens when they go home over the weekend?
For more than 15 years, the BackPack Program has helped children get enough to eat on the weekends. We now assemble bags at more than 160 local food banks. In addition, we distribute to more than 450,000 children at the end of the week. With your help, we can provide more food to more children in need.
School Pantry Program
These programs help alleviate child hunger in America by distributing food to children and their families. School Food Pantries provide a more readily accessible source to low-income students and their families. By working with community partners, food banks and school administrators set up on-site food pantries. These increase convenience for students and their families throughout the school year and during school breaks. By locating pantries inside or near schools, students and their families have easier access to food assistance. As a result, they feel more comfortable in accessing this assistance.
The Pantry Program generally distributes fresh fruit and vegetables, easy to open shelf-stable items, a combination of grains, and sometimes protein items such as frozen meats. Schools may also provide a market-style produce distribution of which may operate afterschool, during weekends, and/or during out of school times such as Summer.
Furthermore, children and their families may also receive recipe cards. In addition, on-site cooking demonstrations led by community partners and other additional resources.