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What’s the difference between a food bank and a food pantry?
Outside of the food bank world, the terms food bank and food pantry are often used interchangeably, but there is a difference! Food banks, like Second Harvest, are a part of the Feeding America network which includes 200 food banks that provide food to pantries and meal centers in nearly every community in all 50 states, Washington D.C., and Puerto Rico.
Let’s break it down further! Food banks are non-profits that store and distribute millions of pounds of food to local food pantries and meal centers. Food banks receive donated food from agricultural partners, grocery stores, retailers, restaurants, and individuals in the community, as well as through Feeding America network connections. Food banks vary in size, usually dependent on the specific regional area it serves. For example, Second Harvest serves 21 counties in Eastern Washington and five counties in Northern Idaho. Food is distributed from our facilities in Spokane and Pasco to over 250 food pantries and meal centers spread throughout our service area.
Food banks are non-profits that store and distribute millions of pounds of food to local food pantries and meal centers.
These food pantries are the distribution centers where hungry families can receive food. With food supplied from Second Harvest, these pantries directly serve their communities providing food and meals to hundreds of people per week. With different challenges in every community, there are many different types of food pantries to match the varying local needs. Whether it’s a pantry inside a school, a free meal center, or a mobile pantry on wheels – these are the front-end delivery vessels getting food to members of the community in need.
While the Coronavirus pandemic has altered the operations of food banks and pantries nationwide, we are still providing food for people facing hunger throughout our entire service area. If you would like to learn more about Second Harvest or would like to volunteer with us, visit 2-harvest.org. If you need food assistance, visit our Food Near Me Map to find your local food pantry or meal center.
Looking for a fun way to celebrate your birthday, company event or holiday? Hosting a fundraiser for Second Harvest is easy and makes an impact. You can raise funds online or host a food drive in person. We’ll give you the tools to get set up, share your event and start collecting. Every dollar donated makes a difference for neighbors experiencing food insecurity.
Steve and his wife both retired from the Army, and he also spent time as a civil engineer in the Navy. His career has been a life of service to our country. Today, he is a member of the civilian workforce at Fairchild Air Force Base.
With economics the way they are today, Steve accesses Second Harvest Mobile Market free food distributions on base.
Naturally cheery, Steve manages a smile even when he explains “Times are hard.” Simultaneously, he proudly adds, “We have two kids, 13 and 14. They eat like crazy and are growing like mad.”
Bite2Go is a weekend food program for students facing chronic food shortages at home. Bite2Go gives children access to a mix of nutritious, nonperishable and ready-to-eat meals and snacks for the weekend, helping kids return to school ready to learn on Mondays. At the heart of the program is the adoptive organization. Bite2Go relies on businesses, churches and civic groups to “adopt” a school, and through that engagement and funding model, provide students with food for the weekends through the school year.