Food Banks and Food Pantries Help People Get Food
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Food Banks and Food Pantries Help People Get Food

Posted on Thursday, January 17th, 2019 at 7:00 am
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People who are very low-income often struggle to buy enough food to feed themselves and their families. People who are unemployed face the same difficulties. Food banks and food pantries can help people get the food they need. This allows the person to use their limited money on other bills and necessities.

Feeding America is a nationwide network of 200 food banks and 60,000 food pantries and meal programs that provides food and services to people each year. In addition, some cities and counties may also have their own food banks and food pantries.

A food bank is a non-profit organization that collects and distributes food to hunger-relief charities. Food banks act as food storage and distribution depots for smaller front line agencies, and usually do not themselves give out food directly to people struggling with hunger.

A food pantry functions as the arms that reach out directly to a community. It receives food from a food bank (which functions like a warehouse) and makes that food accessible to people who need it. Visit the Feeding America website to find the food pantry nearest to where you live.

During the 2018-2019 partial government shutdown, Feeding America is helping unpaid federal workers to obtain food. Some of these workers had been furloughed, and will not be paid until the shutdown ends. Others workers are still working – but not receiving paychecks.

To help, Feeding America has been deploying pop-up food pantries in areas where there are many government workers who need help getting food. Some Feeding America food banks are opening on days when they are usually closed in order to help meet people’s needs.

Local food pantries can also help individuals and families who lose their SNAP benefits, or their WIC benefits due to the partial government shutdown. Contact Feeding America, or your local food pantry, for more details.

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Good Tip: Saving money is important – especially if you have a lot of expenses like bills to pay, loans to pay off, and all the other things that drain your bank account. Figuring out a way to save money can feel tedious to some, and like a punishment to others. U.S. News suggests that you try one of these money saving challenges. The “No Eating Out for a Month” Challenge This one is self-explanatory. The goal is to avoid eating out for an entire month. This might be super easy for people who enjoy making meals at home. People who really enjoy dining out, or ordering food to be sent to their home, may struggle with this one. It’s worth a try because spending money on take-out is more expensive than buying groceries. The Pantry Challenge This one is a variation of the “No Eating Out for a Month” challenge. The goal is to use up all of your groceries before you buy more. It forces you to try and remember why you bought a food or beverage that you don’t know what to do with, and gives you the opportunity to find a way to use it. The one exemption to this challenge is the foods that have expired. Don’t eat them! Throw them in the trash. The “No Spend” Challenge Make a goal to avoid spending money during an entire weekend. The only exemption in this challenge is that you are allowed to pay bills. This challenge is interesting because it requires creativity. You must be creative and find workarounds for problems that you would typically solve by spending money. You may have a different outlook on spending after finishing this challenge.