$1 helps provide 14 pounds of food to the more than 46 million people served in the Feeding America network who struggle with hunger, including 13 million children and 5.7 million seniors, enabling them to have access to nutritious food for good health.
Feeding America is the nationwide network of 200 food banks that leads the fight against hunger in the United States. Together, we provide food to more than 46 million people, including 12 million children and 7 million seniors, through 60,000 food pantries and meal programs in communities across America. Feeding America also supports programs that improve food security among the people we serve; educates the public about the problem of hunger; and advocates for legislation that protects people from going hungry.
The process of getting food to Americans in need requires a dynamic infrastructure and sophisticated management. Feeding America cultivates partnerships to secure donations from national food and grocery manufacturers, retailers, foodservice locations, shippers, packers and growers and from government agencies, and other organizations.
Then Feeding America coordinates transportation of donations to member food banks, which ensure the safe storage and reliable distribution of food to local food pantries and meal programs, which in turn, provide the food and grocery items directly to people in need.
Feeding America develops innovative strategies that help us capture and distribute more food with the greatest efficiency. We are focused on ensuring that the people we serve have access to enough nutritious food for themselves and their families.
To do this, the network is sourcing and distributing more “Foods to Encourage”—foods that promote good health and align with the USDA’s Dietary Guidelines, such as fruits, vegetables, dairy, whole grains and protein. Today, 69 percent of food received by the network is classified as Foods to Encourage. Additionally, we are setting goals to source a specific amount of protein, dairy and fruits and vegetables each year, with anticipated growth over time.
Feeding America also has made large investments to secure more fresh fruits and vegetables to help support the health and wellness among the people we serve. Partnerships with growers, packers, and industry experts help Feeding America identify and secure 1 billion pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables each year for people facing hunger. Further, Feeding America is establishing regional produce cooperatives, which are central processing facilities run by food banks, which can take in large amounts of produce and distribute it in more manageable quantities to local food banks. We are also deepening our relationships within the agricultural sector and streamlining the donation process to make it easier for growers to donate fruits and vegetables from multiple locations.
Feeding America is the leading food-rescue partner across the food industry, increasing the number of meals available to families while helping to reduce food waste. Thanks to our national and local partnerships with retailers, manufacturers, foodservice operators, farmers and others, the Feeding America network has been able to divert 2.8 billion pounds of good food from being thrown away and provide it to families in need.
Feeding America also is pursuing a transformative new opportunity to rescue food from foodservice partners. Each year, billions of pounds of good food is uneaten and thrown away at local foodservice outlets such as restaurants, hotels and convenience stores. But these donations are generally smaller quantities of highly perishable foods, which are harder for food banks to accept. For the first time, Feeding America is implementing a program to rescue food from foodservice partners by building national relationships with foodservice donors and creating tools so the network can leverage this largely untapped meal source.
Feeding America also provides immediate and ongoing relief in times of disaster. In response to hurricanes, wildfires, tornadoes and floods, the Feeding America network and our national corporate donors have provided more than 100 million pounds of emergency food and disaster relief supplies to individuals and families affected by disaster. Local food banks also continue to support affected communities on their long road to recovery.
In addition to providing meals to millions of families today, Feeding America is embarking on a strategic path toward ending hunger. Only when all children have enough nutritious food to grow and learn and their families have enough food to stay healthy will we ensure a stronger future for America. Together, we can help more families achieve food security so that all have a chance to fulfill their potential and build a bright future for themselves and their communities.