What Is a Community Food Bank?


Quick Answer

A community food bank is a type of charitable organization that collects food items from individuals and companies and then distributes the items to those in need throughout the local area. These organizations seek to relieve hunger and, in some cases, educate community members on the importance of a balanced diet and ways to eat healthfully under financial restraints.

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Full Answer

Community food banks operate in many different cities across the country with the purpose of combating hunger issues for its members, including adults, children and the elderly. These organizations may be part of a larger charitable group or operate as an independent nonprofit entity. Many food banks that are part of larger groups receive funding and donations from those parent organizations, while smaller groups may rely solely on country and federal aid programs, as well as donations from other organizations and private parties. In all cases, the food banks source food from a wide range of places, including local businesses and national companies, along with individuals.

When the bank receives food, it catalogs it and issues a charitable receipt to the donor for use in tax purposes, if requested. Its members then collect the food and create individual care packages according to the available supply, sometimes including canned and dry goods, along with fresh and perishable products such as eggs, vegetables or baked goods. The banks may visit local families and individuals to deliver the foods or allow people to come in and pick up the items.

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