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Leadership | Philanthropy

Feeding America

orphans-411949_1920Across our nation there are all kinds of people experiencing hunger and uncertainty about the possibility of another meal. Feeding America is a vital resource to these people and their families. Annually, the nonprofit feeds more than 46 million people through their network of food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters, and other community-focused organizations spread throughout the country. They are our country’s leader in the fight against hunger.

After founding St. Mary’s Food Bank in Phoenix, Arizona, John van Hengel began a larger scale project. With a $50,000 federal grant, ven Hegel established a chain of eighteen food banks throughout the United States called Second Harvest. Today, Second Harvest is known as Feeding America, and operates 199 food banks all over the nation. John ven Hegel is an influential figure in the fight against hunger. After founding the organization that became Feeding America, ven Hegel left to form Food Banking Inc., which is now known as the Global FoodBanking Network. He used his experience to consult for food banks internationally, including organizations in Africa, Eastern Europe, Asia, South America, and Australia.

Today, Feeding America is led by CEO Diana Aviv. The organization provides more than 3 billion meals to the hungry all over the country. In the fiscal year of 2015, Feeding America collected more than 1.4 billion pounds of food from a collection of retailers. This is only a small amount in comparison to the nearly 70 billion pounds of edible food that is wasted in America each year. Food collected from retailers could have been thrown away and wasted, but now it’s used to feed those in need. Feeding America also operates a number of programs. One these programs targets food-insecure children who depend on free or reduced-price meals at school. Once school’s out, these children no longer have a meal option available to them. Feeding America provides meals to these children after school let’s out and they are most vulnerable. In the case of a disaster, Feeding America opens the doors of its many food banks to provide food and other emergency supplies to help people recover. Their aid includes preparation before disasters occur, immediate response to victims, and recovery support to families as well as communities after the disaster. Feeding America is dedicated to serving communities and people, no matter their needs.

You can help Feeding America fight hunger in many ways. You can make a donation online, here. Feeding America is able to provide 11 meals to those in need for every dollar they receive. If you have food to donate, you can give it a local food bank. Or even organize a food drive with a food bank nearby. You can find a local food bank here. We can all join in the fight against hunger, a feeling many fight everyday. To learn more about Feeding America, visit their website here.