Lunch Aid :
Hunger 2013


Lunch Aid : Hunger 2013


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Lunch Aid is Food Pantries - the vital final link in the food distribution chain, giving food directly to hungry people



    Lunch Aid is a collaboration between food pantries. It has grown directly out of the growing need for funds to feed an expanding population of food insecure citizens, and the recognition that merely feeding them is not enough. As the saying goes, “If you give a man a fish, he can feed his family for a day, but if you teach him how to fish, he can feed them for a lifetime”.  The project seeks to make the food distribution network more cost-effective and more resource-efficient.  The result will be more resources freed up to help people get back on their feet, permanently.

Lunch Aid consists of a group of interested parties from the assistance food distribution network, the marketing profession, non-profit executives, the local media, and local and state government.


    Why Food Pantries if we already have Food Banks?


                      
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                                    A typical food pantry

    Food pantries are the last, vital, link in the Food-Distribution-Chain, and there is good reason to have many pantries: just as with grocery stores, hungry people without transportation need food pantries close to where they live. Food banks do not typically distribute food to people in need, but rather act like huge warehouses, and distribute to smaller organizations, such as food pantries, who give food directly to people in need. 

The need is perfectly expressed by Mary P., a food recipient: “Oh we need this place here. The other places are not open that much and if you can’t make it during their hours, then you don’t get nothing, if you’re working, or if you don’t have bus fare. It takes a long time to get to those places, and sometimes they run out of food before you get there.”


                                
                                  A typical food distribution

Food pantries all operate on a shoestring, but there are expenses – storage, refrigeration, transportation, staff and volunteer expenses, and most of all, food. Food banks are by far the most cost-efficient source of food, but even they are not free, charging a shared maintenance fee for every item, which can be up to 60% of the costs.  Most pantries are run almost entirely by volunteers. However, a small permanent staff is essential to provide continuity, stability, and reliability, which cannot be achieved through over-dependence on volunteers.

                                           



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