Rural areas like ours offer a special challenge for people who want to help others feed their families healthy food.
Why so many food banks? The oldest food bank in the area is able to supply people who need help about three days per month of groceries. Food banks are not just about distributing food to people who need it, but they must first find that food and other donations needed to run and maintain the facility.
Here is my perception about how food banks are funded:
• Private contributions
• Corporate contributions
• Government contributions
• Donations of food from local groceries
• Fundraising activities
• Community food drives
Other than government, it appears the corporations and individuals who contribute are fairly local. Government contributions depend on how many people the food bank is able to help.
Even if the newer food banks bring in lots of their own money, they will eventually be soliciting contributions away from existing food banks.
Fundraisers are also supported by the local community, where there are only so many funds available to raise. Fundraising is an investment that takes time and money to organize, and if the funds don’t show, the food bank might lose money while trying to raise it.
I believe food banks should compete with poverty, not each other. Some food banks are close to more people, but even a mile can be too far to walk, especially when food is carried home. A vast majority of people drive to visit food banks.
Every food bank must support a building, (and/or truck), electricity –– including refrigeration, sanitary conditions, marketing, paperwork and more.
Consolidating efforts always means more success achieving goals. Are there reasons why all the efforts couldn’t be consolidated into the location south of Home? That facility seems to have been built for this function. Every time another food bank opens on the Peninsula, the resources shrink for the original food bank. Perception of value by the public is important. Why not cooperate?
John P Earls