Food banks are necessary due to approximately 821 million people worldwide facing hunger. This is according to the World Food Programme. It is estimated that one third of all food produced actually goes to waste.
Food banks are organizations that are set up to rescue unspoiled food before it ends up in a landfill to help feed the hungry. They will warehouse and distribute food to smaller, local charities that get the food to community members who are challenged with hunger. Let’s explore the importance of these institutions.
Feeding the Hungry
With nearly 1 billion people dealing with hunger, a food bank may be the only resource for many to have a nutritious meal. The organizations don’t just feed impoverished families. They also help serve school lunch programs, fill food pantries, supply soup kitchens, feed senior communities, and provide meals to substance abuse clinics and hospice centers.
Non-profit food bank organizations are well versed in balanced nutrition. They have guidelines for what foods they will accept and distribute. These groups work tirelessly to source surplus food from farmers, grocery chains, food distributors, and individuals to make sure there is a variety of produce, protein, and packaged products that store well. Food bank networks aim to provide a variety of food that is good in terms of safety, taste, and nutritional value.
Part of the mission of food banks is to reduce the amount of excess food that ends up in landfills. Much of what is grown, harvested, and processed is never consumed. This may be due to the challenges and costs of modern farming, failure to harvest, post-harvest loss, transporting logistics, and inadequate tax incentives for donations of food.
Food banks and local food pantries have a presence in communities that provides more than meals. Made up of primarily volunteers and partner organizations, food banks bring people together with a common goal to help those in need. Many offer educational programs to teach and inform all types of people about world hunger and the importance of good nutrition.
Food banks are important organizations that address the growing problem of hunger worldwide. They are the link between food producers and local agencies that see to the nutritional needs of their communities. Without food banks world hunger and food waste would be overwhelming.