6 Food Banks Helping Feed Those In Need

Eating nutritious meals every day is one of the most crucial things people need to do to stay healthy. Unfortunately, there are many people in North America who don't always know where their next meal is coming from. Food banks, like the ones listed here, store food and distribute it so that it can get to those who need it most. If you're interested in helping the hungry, consider supporting these organizations. This video was made with Ezvid Wikimaker.

Organizations Working To Combat Hunger

Name Headquarters Location
Brazos Valley Food Bank Bryan, TX
Ohio Association of Foodbanks Columbus, OH
Lowcountry Food Bank Charleston, SC
Merrimack Valley Food Bank Lowell, MA
North York Harvest Food Bank Toronto, ON
Food Bank of South Jersey Pennsauken, NJ

Items Food Organizations Need The Most

  • Applesauce
  • Canned goods
  • Cooking oils
  • Crackers
  • Dried herbs & spiced
  • Dried or canned fruit
  • Granola bars
  • Instant mashed potatoes
  • Nuts
  • Pasta
  • Peanut butter
  • Rice
  • Shelf-stable stew, soup, and chili
  • Whole grain cereal

Ending Hunger Now

The Prevalence Of Global Hunger

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

Year Number (in millions) of undernourished people Percentage of undernourished people
2005 947.2 14.5%
2010 822.3 11.8%
2011 814.4 11.6%
2015 785.4 10.6%
2016 796.5 10.7%
2017 811.7 10.8%

The 3 Main Types of Local Hunger Relief Organizations

  1. Food bank: Stores donated food and distributes it to charities, meal programs, and food pantries
  2. Food pantry: Gives directly to those in need, often unprepared food to low-income families
  3. Meal center (aka soup kitchen): Serves prepared meals to the homeless and hungry

Brazos Valley Food Bank Helps Students in Need

In Depth

Despite the enormous wealth the modern world has created, hunger remains a pressing problem for many people. One way that communities can address this issue is through food banks, organizations that serve as hubs for donations of crucial goods, distributing nutritious food where it's most needed. In no particular order, here are six programs helping individuals and families feel secure about their next meal.

Beginning our list at #1 is the Brazos Valley Food Bank, an organization based in Bryan, Texas that works to combat hunger. Rated four stars by Charity Navigator, the BVFB distributes vital supplies to area residents in need. Its efforts include a Mobile Food Pantry which delivers to under-served communities, as well as a Senior Outreach Program for older individuals unable to leave home.

The BVFB provides targeted relief for children facing hunger, through initiatives like the BackPack Program for elementary students, or the group's School-Based Food Pantries. The organization also offers nutrition education for children and adults, assists eligible individuals in applying for benefits, and gives informational presentations. Those wishing to support this group can volunteer, donate money or goods, or host a fundraiser or a food drive.

The organization also offers nutrition education for children and adults, assists eligible individuals in applying for benefits, and gives informational presentations.

Next up, at #2, is the Ohio Association of Foodbanks. This network of regional organizations coordinates large-scale efforts to provide nutrition for those in need throughout the state. The Association procures shelf-stable foods for distribution by local partners, and directs surplus goods from producers to those in need through the Ohio Agricultural Clearance Program. Many member agencies also offer targeted assistance for children and seniors.

The Ohio Association of Foodbanks works to provide education about hunger and economic insecurity through Community Action Poverty Simulations, which offer a glimpse into the challenges faced by low-income individuals. The group's other efforts include the Governor's Summer Meals Programs to provide nutrition for children outside the school year, and advocacy work fighting cuts to relief services. Interested individuals can support the Association's mission with a donation.

Entry #3 is the Lowcountry Food Bank, which provides nutrition assistance in the coastal counties of South Carolina. Working through a network of partner agencies and distribution centers, this nonprofit offers fresh produce and non-perishable goods for those in need. Many of the group's efforts are aimed at fighting childhood hunger, such as the School Pantry or the Summer Meals Program; others help feed low-income seniors.

Many of the group's efforts are aimed at fighting childhood hunger, such as the School Pantry or the Summer Meals Program; others help feed low-income seniors.

LCFB volunteers prepare meals for struggling locals at the Zucker Family Production Kitchen, with programs like the Kids Cafe, which provides after-school meals to children. The organization also offers nutrition education, including healthy recipes built around commonly available produce items, and assists clients in obtaining public benefits. Those wishing to help the LCFB can donate, volunteer, or help organize a food drive.

#4 in the order is the Merrimack Valley Food Bank, based in Lowell, Massachusetts and dedicated to providing goods and meals to disadvantaged members of the community. The group's Food Rescue team collects perishable items that would normally be discarded, while donors and giving drives provide additional resources. The organization's member agencies distribute these gifts to local individuals and families.

MVFB operates programs including the Mobile Pantry delivery service for home-bound individuals, and the Community Market initiative bringing produce to residents of public housing. The organization also offers information on food safety and healthy recipes. Supporters can assist MVFB in a variety of ways, such as volunteering, donating, or joining the Stock the Shelves Club as a sustaining member.

The organization also offers information on food safety and healthy recipes.

Following up at #5 is North York Harvest Food Bank. This group works to relieve hunger in the Toronto region, acting as a distribution hub for a network of agencies around the city, and helping member organizations to improve and expand their services. North York Harvest also creates Community Food Spaces, such as shared gardens and kitchens, as locations for locals to gather, exchange, and learn.

Along with its distribution services and communal spaces, North York Harvest conducts research and produces reports, on subjects such as food insecurity and existing resources in the region. The organization also offers a training program in logistics, and provides a diverse collection of information about topics like healthy eating. Anyone inspired by North York Harvest's work can donate funds or food, or help out as a volunteer.

Concluding our overview at #6 is the Food Bank of South Jersey, which collects and distributes needed supplies to low-income individuals and families, throughout several New Jersey counties. The organization's agency network provides locations for clients to pick up food, while the Hope Mobile initiative delivers directly to communities with limited access to nutrition.

The organization's agency network provides locations for clients to pick up food, while the Hope Mobile initiative delivers directly to communities with limited access to nutrition.

The Food Bank of South Jersey provides specific assistance programs for children, seniors, and families facing hardship, and offers a variety of health and wellness resources including classes on nutrition and cooking. The organization's blog provides information about its programs, and about the challenges many face in securing food access. Supporters can assist as donors or volunteers, and companies can contribute through partnership or team building service days.