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Feeding America and the Distribution of Healthy Food

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Feeding America and the Distribution of Healthy Food


From 2015 to 2017, I worked full time for Feeding America. I was a member of the Child Hunger Corps. Feeding America Child Hunger Corps, began in August 2010 as a national service program. The goal of the program was to help with the staffing needs of Feeding America member food banks and to increase the number of meals served to children and their families. Feeding America placed me at member food bank, Feeding South Florida.  This program developed from a recommendation from Feeding America’s National Child Hunger Strategy Team. Their research identified staffing capacity as the primary barrier to expansion of child hunger programs across the Feeding America network.

The placement began with a Community Needs Assessment phase. The Community Needs Assessment goal was to conduct a gap analysis of Feeding South Florida’s tri county service area. The gap findings were used to determine what opportunities were available for program growth. From the findings of my research, I went on to develop recommendations to address the child hunger programming gaps in the Palm Beach County, Broward County, and Miami Date Counties. These recommendations led to the expansion of child nutrition programs. Once programs were expanded, a significant amount of time was spent on program evaluation and process documentation to ensure the sustainability of programmatic growth.

For the last 35 years Feeding America has made food security their mission. Feeding America has made efforts to transform the United States hunger problem by providing food to people in need through a nationwide network of food banks. Since the establishment of first food bank by John van Hengel in Phoenix, AZ in 1967, food banking has grown and progressed in the United States. With a network of 200 food banks across the United States, Feeding America is the largest domestic hunger-relief organization, that has ascended to meet the steady food insecurity rates.

Feeding America’s mission is to feed America’s hungry through a nationwide network of member food banks and engage our country in the fight to end hunger.

Goals Assessment

Feeding America is the nation's leading domestic hunger-relief charity. Their mission is to feed America's hungry through a nationwide network of member food banks and engage our country in the fight to end hunger. The Feeding America network provides 4 billion meals annually, serving 1 in 7 Americans families, individuals, seniors, and children facing hunger (Feeding America Annual Report 2018). Feeding America also work to prevent food waste, raise awareness to the public about the problem of hunger; and advocates for legislation that protects the access to food. Feeding America is leading the charge to solve hunger through feed, nourish, empower, unite and connect innovative initiatives for communities in need.

The statement of values from Feeding America focus seven main principles.  First respect the worth of every individual, the accountability of how resources are used to achieve the mission of solving hunger, collaboration with other organizations with value in the mission, operate effectively and urgently, place emphasis on the nature of hunger; serve to create a hunger-free America; act with integrity; and reflect the diversity in the workforce. (Feeding America)

The feed, nourish, empower, unite and connect initiatives align the vision, mission, goals, and values because through the creation of a network of 200 food banks, Feeding America reaches 46 million people facing hunger by building partnerships serving every community in the United States. Feeding America prepares an impact report each quarter to share the performance of providing meals in the United States.

Environmental Analysis

Political factors that impact Feeding America are legislations that funds the federal nutrition programs. Feeding America political work is deeply rooted in protecting and strengthening key federal nutrition programs. The Farm Bill is the current focus of federal legislation that affects Feeding America.  The Farm Bill for food and farming impacts access to nutritious food. Congress is currently considering the reauthorization of the Farm Bill legislation. Feeding America works protect and expand the federal nutrition programs because The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP), and Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP) works in tandem with Feeding America’s food banks across the United States. Feeding America food banks resources are being stretched to meet the needs of those struggling with hunger.

SNAP provides twelve meals for every one meal that the Feeding America network provides(Feeding America Farm Bill Action Center). If federal cuts are made to snap, there would be a gap that Feeding America would not be able to make up. Without TEFAP, Feeding America food banks would have to turn away many seniors, children, veterans, and the working poor that are need. Feeding America states that approximately 1 in 5 meals distributed by Feeding America food banks in 2017 was moved, stored, and served because of TEFAP. With cuts in these federal food assistance programs for low-income individuals and families the need for food assistance remains critical. Adequate funding for federal nutrition programs ensures that the Feeding America network of food banks has the resources needed to help families struggling with hunger.

The state of the country economy has affected the clients Feeding America food banks serve. The median household income served by the Feeding America food bank network last year was $9,175(Feeding America Map The Meal Gap). The United States economy has had a slow recovery since the 2008 recession. 72% of the households the Feeding America network serves lived at or was below the federal poverty level, thus increasing the number of people seeking assistance from the Feeding America food bank network. (Feeding America Hunger In America, 2014).

Poverty, unemployment, and income have been significant reasons of hunger across America. These economic factors have contributed to rapid growth in the numbers of those seeking and receiving benefits from federal food assistance programs. The households that the Feeding America network serves, more than half, receive SNAP benefits, while nearly all of the households with school-aged children receive free or reduced breakfast and lunch through the National School Lunch Program or School Breakfast Program. (Feeding America Hunger In America, 2014). The increased recipients of federal nutrition programs are reflected in the number of clients seeking help from the Feeding America food bank network. The Feeding America food bank network continues to see increases in the number of individuals seeking assistance due to the economic factors of America today.



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