Where Our Food Comes From

We obtain our food in three key ways – from donations, from the federal government, and through purchasing the food.

Donations

Food Banks were created to reclaim food that would otherwise go to waste and redistribute it to people in need.  That ideal is still at the heart of a significant percentage of the food we obtain and distribute.  Thanks to our affiliation with Feeding America, we capture donations of food from large corporations—national supermarket chains and large food manufacturers.  Locally, we are supported by manufacturers, grocery stores, farmers, and community food drives.

Purchased Food

Donations of canned food and dry goods are much more difficult to come by today, and while community food drives are essential to our work, the results make up only 3 percent of our total supply. As a result, the Food Bank must purchase products to compensate. Financial support from donors means we can buy food that is not available through donation, and also means we can provide consistent menus and nutrition when necessary. We try to keep certain food items on hand at all times because of their nutritional value and appeal to clients, like peanut butter, pastas, and canned vegetables. In addition, outreach programs like Family BackPack and Summer Feeding sites operate using pre-determined menus, which can only be accommodated by purchasing food. Programs like the Farm Fresh Fund mean we can obtain a variety of locally-grown vegetables and fruits for distribution.

USDA

The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) is a Federal program of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) that distributes federally supplied commodities such as canned and frozen food to eligible households. Eligibility in this program is based on recipient income; distribution is limited to one time per month per family.