Feeding America

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Feeding America is a non-profit organization based in the United States and has a network nationwide of over 200 food banks and organizations that serving the majority of cities across the country as well as much of Puerto Rico.

It is the country's leader as a hunger-relief and food-rescue organization and has its headquartered in Chicago, Illinois. The organization helps to support over 50,000 different charitable agencies that operate over 90,000 programs such as soup kitchens, pantries, after-school programs, emergency shelters and Kids Cafes. Vicki B. Escarra is the organizations current CEO and president.

Feeding America strives to educate the public and maintain them informed about the hunger problem throughout the country. There are a number of research and educational papers the national office of Feeding America publishes that spotlight the different aspects of the problem of hunger and also provides factual information on poverty, hunger and programs available for the most vulnerable in the United States.

The public policy staff of Feeding America works with local and national legislators. Together they conduct research, advocate changes and testify at hearings. The goal is to change the attitude of the public about hunger and poverty and help the network of Feeding America and the many organizations it serves.

The food banks for Feeding America provide individuals and families of low income with food so they can survive and function in their daily lives. They are the leading domestic provider of hunger relief in the nation.

Its vast network of food banks, pantries and soup kitchens feed over 37 million people in the United States each year. Of those 37 million, 3 million are senior citizens and over 14 million are children. Feeding America has over 63,000 agencies that help to address the numerous hunger problem of today in the United States.


Feeding America's mission is to feed the hungry of America via its nationwide network of food banks and to engage the people of the country in the fight to end hunger in the whole country. It follows a set of values that guide each of its actions and all of its planning in its battle to eradicate hunger.

They value and respect the inherent dignity and worth of each person treat everyone with compassion, equity and justice. Feeding America honors the concerns, stories and lives of people in need and expects the same of its partners. Its staff accepts one another's diversity of ideas and thoughts, which are encouraged.

Feeding of America maintains the public trust via its compassionate and efficient use of the resources that have been entrusted to them, mindful of the fact its mission is only accomplished because of the generosity of others. It communicates and maintains timely and accurate information on education, hunger research, service and advocacy. The organization accounts and evaluates on a regular basis how the resources are utilized to best implement its mission and achieve its goal of eliminating hunger.

Feeding of America believes in the power of collaboration at the community level therefore they strive to build long lasting relationships built on trust among those that have the same vision of eradicating hunger in America. They work at both the local and national levels to reach these goals which value the roles of each party involved and always use an honest and open process of communication. The organization is always seeking out and responding to the counsel and input of its partners.

Feeding America believes that the social, cultural and ethnic diversity that makes up America should be reflected in its board, staff and entire network. It acts with trust, honesty and openness and delivers on all of its commitments.


In Phoenix, Arizona, in the latter part of the 1960s a retired businessman, John van Hengel started volunteering in a local soup kitchen and started to ask local businesses and individuals for donations to the kitchen. One day he was speaking to someone who came to eat at the soup kitchen who said she fed her family by collecting discarded food from the garbage bins of a grocery store. She told him how good the quality of food was but that there needed to be a place to store it for later use, much like a bank would store money.

He started to ask the grocery stores for their unwanted food as well as the local produce farms and local gardens. Through his efforts the St. Mary's Food Bank was created in Phoenix, which became the first food bank in the nation.

St. Mary's received a federal grant in 1975 to help develop more food banks throughout the country. America's Second Harvest and Foodchain merged in 2001. At that time Foodchain was the largest organization in the country dedicated to food-rescue.

The organization was featured in May 2007 on "American Idol" as a charity in the Idol charity program named "Idol Gives Back". At the end of August 2008 the company's name was changed to its current name, Feeding America.

The name better conveys the organization's mission - providing the hungry citizens of America the food they need. The name also helps to raise the awareness of the problem of domestic hunger in America.

Columbia Records, in August 2009, announced that the entire U.S. royalties for the Christmas in the Heart album by Bob Dylan would be donated to the organization in perpetuity. Feeding America continues to strive to better its service to the hungry and informing the public of the problem of hunger in the United States.

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