What Is a Food Bank?

Food banks are non-profit programs that provide hunger relief through donations in local communities. They help meet the needs of feeding the more than 49 million people who face hunger in the Untied States. Some food banks operate only in specific communities, while others serve much broader regions.

Food banks rely specifically on donors and volunteers to help administer food to those in need. These programs exist to help low-income families who may not qualify for government assistance. Anyone looking to find food bank pantries in their local areas can search the extensive listing found at foodpantries.org.

Entities such as Feeding America work with over 60,000 local food pantries and meal programs in communities throughout the United States. Individuals in need can contact their local food bank to find special food programs available specifically for children and seniors, find information regarding food assistance after a disaster hits or find more information about mobile pantry distribution spots.

Other programs that are generally available for those facing hunger are the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, the National Hunger Hotline and the Commodity Supplemental Food Program. The Summer Food Assistance Program is also available to provide meals and snacks to children who don't have access to healthy meals when school is not in session.