Overview of Food Banking

Hello friends of Care and Share! 

We have something special planned for you this week. We are presenting a week-long series about our work. What is food banking, how do we get our food, how do we distribute our food? Please tune-in to get the ABCs of food banking, starting today! 

Food banking can be a complicated business to explain. We always like to start off by asking “do you know the difference between a food pantry and a food bank?” Oftentimes, the answer is “no.”
Here’s a brief overview of how food banks work:

Food banks are different than food pantries, soup kitchens, or emergency shelters because we supply the food to these agencies (which we call our partner agencies), who in turn distribute the food directly to those in need. Our warehouses in Pueblo and Colorado Springs are specifically designed to receive and distribute millions of pounds of food annually, up to 25 million pounds in fact, which requires specialized equipment (forklifts and pallet jacks), a fleet of refrigerated trucks, large freezer and refrigeration units, thousands of volunteers, and staff with the logistical expertise to coordinate distribution efforts throughout our 52,000 square mile service area.

·    Care and Share Food Bank is an affiliate of Feeding America, the largest domestic hunger relief organization. Care and Share is one of five Feeding America food banks in the state, and the only food bank dedicated to serving the 31 counties that comprise Southern Colorado. Feeding America ensures that there is no duplication of services between food banks nationwide by establishing service areas boundaries. This means that every county in each state is being served by a designated food bank.

·         Feeding America has agreements with national retailers, such as Walmart and Target, to designate local food banks as the sole recipients of donated food. This is because of our capacity to receive and transport large quantities of food effectively and efficiently. Our food safety guidelines and qualifications ensure that all food, both perishable and nonperishable, is inspected by our trained staff and volunteers before it is distributed to our partner agencies. 
·       Food banks like Care and Share do food really well. The food we provide to our partner agencies allows them to stretch their dollars for the work that they do really well, such as job training, housing assistance, medical care, and other critical services.
We would love to hear from you this week with any “aha” moments, questions, or comments you may have. See you back here tomorrow! 

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