Food for 37 Million People

4/04/2011 15:40:39 PM

In order to feed 37 million Americans each year, the Feeding America network must secure food from a diverse range of sources. While our food banks receive approximately 25 percent of their food from the USDA in the form of nutritious government commodities, the majority of our food comes from hundreds of food donors. Sometimes we even pay a deeply discounted rate for foods that our clients need but that aren't donated often enough.

A critical role we play as the nation's leading domestic hunger-relief organization is to get private, charitable donations so that we can help serve those who do not know where they will find their next meal. For more than 30 years, we have been building on the foundation that no one in this country should go hungry. To help us achieve this goal, we have forged many relations, and I am proud of the public, private and government partnerships we have built.

Today, our network of more than 200 food banks benefits from the generous support of more than 500 national food and grocery manufacturers and retailers, individuals, corporations and charitable foundations, as well as countless local individuals and businesses.

We cannot do our work without these partnerships; they are our foundation. This past year, the Feeding America network has moved more than 3 billion pounds of food to feed more than 37 million people in this country. On any given day, a 1 to 2.5 million pounds of food goes out the doors of our warehouses and food banks to our 61,000 agencies -- food pantries, after-school programs, senior centers and emergency shelters -- that provide food to low-income people.

Moving the food throughout the country and getting it to those who are in need requires creativity and tenacity, but the Feeding America network is up to the challenge. It is a daunting task, but between our donor partners, retailers, product sourcing department, farmers, food bank staff and more, we get the food where it needs to go.

I am deeply thankful for the role each of our partners plays in helping secure food to low-income families. Without federal food assistance programs like The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) and the Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP); our national corporate and charitable foundation donors; or the countless local individuals and businesses, we would simply be unable to serve the millions of people who come to our food banks' doors each year in need of nutritious meals. As unemployment rates remain at record highs and our nation struggles to recover from the worst economic recession seen in decades, our donors remain committed to our cause in the fight against hunger.

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