Food banking is also about working efficiently at scale. In the normal course of business farmers, manufacturers, distributors and retailers produce or obtain excess food that they cannot sell. Often this food is in large volumes and if it is to be rescued, it must be done so quickly.
Most charities do not have the transportation, space or manpower to collect, sort and store a pallet or truckload of donated food but a food bank is specifically set up to do just this. It is able to “bank” large quantities of excess food in a centralised warehouse, and with help from volunteers, sort, pack and re-distribute it through a network of partner charities.
With thousands of food banks on every continent, there are many different models but these are some of the key elements shared by food banks around the world.
What is a food bank?
A food bank is a charitable organisation that collects, sorts, stores and distributes donated food within a community. Traditionally, a food bank does not distribute food directly to those in need. Instead, it serves a network of local charities, who in turn feed the hungry. The world’s first food bank was the St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance, which was established in 1967 in Arizona, U.S.A.
Our food banking friends around the world