According to Feeding America, 42.2 million Americans lived in food-insecure households in 2015. These households included 29.1 million adults and 13.1 million children. Without food pantries, many of our neighbors would be without a source for food. Those who operate food pantries are aware of the need and are struggling to meet that need. Here are some funding sources and food sources for food pantries.
Foodbanks Help Supply Food Pantries
Food pantries often operate within a network of foodbanks which, in turn, are members of a larger network such as Feeding America. These foodbanks allow food pantries to secure food for distribution for pennies on the dollar. In the case of Feeding America, $1 purchases $11 worth of food.
Many local foodbanks also provide grants to food pantries. Such is the case for the Eastern Illinois Foodbank, in our home area of Urbana-Champaign, Illinois. The local food banks receive funds from Feeding America to distribute as Agency Capacity Grants to member food pantries. Grants are usually in the $5,000 range.
|Insider Tip:Include a nutritional component to your program. More and more funding organizations are interested in nutrition education, not just supplying food.|
Grants to Support Non-Food Expenses
Food pantries are also routinely soliciting food donations, volunteers and funds for operational expenses, transportation, shelving, and refrigeration. Funds for these support activities can be secured through grants from foundations such as the Mazon Foundation and the Walmart Foundation, whose primary focus is hunger relief. Google searches can identify more. Use combinations of terms such as “grants,” “funding,” “financial support,” “food banks,” “hunger,” etc. We subscribe to several databases of funding groups and can find even more potential funders.
If your food pantry requires financial assistance, contact your local foodbank to see if they have a similar program. If you need additional assistance, contact The Grant Helpers to learn how we can help you identify and apply for funding.