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The Growing Needs of Food Banks

Food bank - AMS Fulfillment The first Friday of September is National Food Bank Day, and that commemorative day has passed. We’re going to celebrate it anyway, belatedly, as food banks, pantries, soup kitchens and shelters come from the best part of us – our kindness, care and respect for our fellow human beings. And there is one more reason to talk about food banks now as pantries and shelters do need our help.

As we all know, grocery prices are at an all-time high and these high prices affect low-income families heavily. Demand at food banks is increasing because of this. And the high prices make it harder for food banks to buy food to meet their needs as well.

According to Feeding America, “…more than 46 million Americans, including 12 million children and 7 million seniors, rely on food pantries and meal programs to feed themselves and their families.”

Donations of nonperishable and unspoiled perishable food from homes and businesses help stock the shelves at food banks, soup kitchens, pantries, and shelters. In doing our research we were happy to see that California now requires supermarkets to give away, not throw away, food that is unsold but fine to eat.

Food pantries and food banks typically provide free food for people to prepare at home. Soup kitchens and shelters provide prepared food to those in need. These non-profits are often affiliated with faith-based organizations and rely heavily on volunteers. Some households may turn to food pantries only in times of emergency, but other households use food pantries on a more regular basis.

What food items are needed the most? The following list is from Feeding America.

“Basically, any food that is “shelf-stable” or nonperishable – you can keep it in your pantry and it won’t go bad. And remember, only donate food that hasn’t reached its “sell-by” date yet. Specifically, food banks often need items like: peanut butter, canned soup, canned fruit, canned vegetables, canned stew, canned fish, canned beans, pasta (most prefer whole grain), rice (most prefer brown rice).”

There are food banks and pantries that stock flour and sugar, olive oil, dressings… foods that do not need to be refrigerated or frozen. And there are others that accept frozen and fresh food, so it’s a good idea to check the website or call to make sure what is accepted and needed.

Also check to see if donations of toiletries, baby supplies, toothbrushes, hand wipes and other similar items are needed. If you’re considering whether to donate items or cash, it can be cost-effective and empowering to donate cash. Nonprofits typically can purchase items they need in bulk, at a discount, and with less sales tax.

AMS Fulfillment has long been a supporter of the community through donations to food banks. We also get a great deal of enjoyment from special holiday food drives. The following food banks are our recommendations.  

Santa Clarita Valley Food Pantry, Valencia, CA

“In 2018, the SCV Food Pantry had over 23,000 client visits, averaging nearly 2,000 client engagements each month. Our goal is to help each person who comes through our doors. We serve the elderly, often on fixed incomes and faced with the choice of medicine or food. We serve working families who earn paychecks that cannot support their basic needs. We serve the injured, the disabled, the homeless, and the unemployed – we serve those living in uncertainty, looking for assistance and a better life.” Visit the website HERE.

CrossNet Ministries, New Holland, PA

“Food & Nutrition Programs: CrossNet Ministries seeks to provide access to food as well as to promote education and healthy living. CrossNet provides programs for free food/supplies at the Food Pantry, Power Pack Program, and Summer Lunches. CrossNet also offers assistance applying for SNAP, WIC and School Meals as well as cooking and nutrition opportunities.” Visit the website HERE.

Sunday Breakfast Mission, Wilmington, DE

“Sunday Breakfast Mission provides temporary emergency shelter, nutritious meals, and hygiene materials to assist you in your time of need. Individuals who stay with us through our temporary emergency shelter are known as “Overnight Guests”. We operate two shelters one for men and one for women, and women with children. Sunday Breakfast Mission serves the homeless, addicted and impoverished through Christ-centered programs to meet their spiritual, social and physical needs.” Visit the website HERE.

We hope you will consider donating to the food bank of your choice, knowing that there are families very much in need of your food contributions as grocery prices rise. And, as we appreciate food banks, let’s give a thumb’s up to AMS for its on-site food bank for the use of employees who need help with lunch. 

With gratitude for the human heart, thank you.




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