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Angel Organizations of the Month

Feeding America

Feeding America New Brand, New Name, Same Emergency

In September 2008, America’s Second Harvest changed its name to Feeding America. This new name best conveys our mission—providing food to Americans living with hunger—and will be supported through expansive public outreach campaigns that will raise awareness of domestic hunger and our work.

Despite a 30-year legacy of fighting hunger, America’s Second Harvest has been confronted with low awareness among the general public, and a broader misunderstanding of domestic hunger. Knowing that true, monumental progress can be made when the public is fully engaged in our cause, we have researched how we can best inspire people. We found that the name America’s Second Harvest was limiting and that a new name was needed to quickly and clearly convey our mission.

Hunger 101

Feed your mind.

In many ways, America is the land of plenty. But for 1 in 8 Americans, hunger is a reality. Many people believe that the problems associated with hunger are confined to small pockets of society, certain areas of the country, or certain neighborhoods, but the reality is much different.

Right now, millions of Americans are struggling with hunger. We all know and are in contact with people affected by hunger, even though we might not be aware of it.

These are often hard-working adults, children and seniors who simply cannot make ends meet and are forced to go without food for several meals, or even days. Most of us simply have no idea. It’s time to educate ourselves about America’s hunger problem.

Poverty

  • In 2007, 37.3 million people (12.5%) were in poverty.
  • In 2007, 7.6 (9.8%) million families were in poverty.
  • In 2007, 20.3 million (10.9%) of people aged 18-64 were in poverty.
  • In 2007, 13.3 million (18%) children under the age of 18 were in poverty.
  • In 2007, 3.6 million (9.7%) seniors 65 and older were in poverty.

Food Insecurity and Very Low Food Security

  • In 2007, 36.2 million Americans lived in food insecure households, 23.8 million adults and 12.4 million children.
  • In 2007, 11.1 percent of households (13 million households) were food insecure, a statistically insignificant increase from 10.9 percent (12.6 million households) in 2006.
  • In 2007, 4.1 percent of households (4.7 million households) experienced very low food security, a statistically insignificant increase from 4 percent in 2006.
  • In 2007, households with children reported food insecurity at almost double the rate for those without children, 15.8 percent compared to 8.7 percent.
  • In 2007, households that were more likely to experience food insecurity were households with children (15.8%), households with children headed by single women (30.2 percent) or single men (18 percent), households with incomes below the poverty line (37.7 percent), Black non-Hispanic households (22.2 percent) and Hispanic households (20.1 percent).
  • In 2007, 6.5 percent of households with seniors (1.7 million households) were food insecure (low food security and very low food security), a statistically significant increase from 6 percent (1.5 million households) in 2006.

How Feeding America Works

Feeding America is a Network

Our organization is made up of individuals, local food banks, national offices, as well as corporate and government partners. Together, we are bigger, better, stronger and more efficient than the sum of our parts. Working as a cohesive system is the only way we can truly solve the hunger crisis.

Securing Food

Feeding America works with large corporate donors to secure food and grocery products on a national level to distribute, as needed, to local food banks. The relationship that the Feeding America organization builds with larger corporations also helps facilitate a relationship between your local food bank and your local grocery store, for example.

Providing Funds

Through a grant process, Feeding America provides national funding to local food banks. It’s easier and more efficient for a single, larger charity to procure grants, than it would be for many local food banks to compete for a limited amount of funds. The grants that our organization receives are most often created to fund innovation at the local level, so that food banks can test new and better ways to secure and distribute food.

Standardizing Care

Because we’re a national organization, we can work toward ensuring that all food bank members across the country are equally and properly trained. We also help set standards for food safety, financial systems and record keeping as well as transportation and donor relations.

Advocating

Because we are a national group, it’s easier for us to give a voice to those who aren’t heard. Because of our strong relationship with the U.S. government, Feeding America is the primary recipient of government commodities, such as those from the Emergency Food Assistance Program. As a charity with national reach, we can engage the public and raise awareness of this critical issue on a national and local level.

Food Distribution

At times of natural disaster, or simply in everyday business, working as a national organization helps us to see where needs are strongest. One local food bank may receive an excess of a certain commodity, while another is feeling a need for that product. Moving food and employees where they are needed most is a strategic advantage in the fight against hunger.

To learn more about Feeding America and to help the growing number of hungry in our country, please click here. If you need to find an emergency food bank in your area, please put in your zipcode or state in The Food Bank Locator once you are on the Feeding America website.

To view all Angel Organizations of the Month, please click here.



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