Any local food bank aims to guarantee that no one goes hungry or is left suffering without someone or a place to turn to. Food banks are available in response to the growing number of people who need help feeding themselves and their families. They are making themselves simple to access through their physical location and the services they offer.
The country has seen an increase in food banks and the expansion of their beneficiaries. It raises the question of "How do food banks know who is most in need of help?" Let's talk about these people and how food banks can identify them.
Who Needs the Most?You can answer this question best by knowing the economic stability of the population. You can identify it by looking at the poverty rate of a country or region. In 2020, the national poverty rate in the United States increased to 11.4 percent, up from 10.5 percent in 2019. The 0.9% difference constitutes the additional 3.3 million people to the 37.3 million American people in poverty.
There is a 2.9% drop in the median household income from $69,560 in 2019 to $67,521 for 2020. It was a clear sign of the rise of the national poverty rate. However, the actual median earnings for all workers over 15 years old decreased by 1.2%, from $42,065 to $41,535 between 2019 and 2020.
In California, the poverty rate is 11.8%, which is higher than the national average. Its household income has a median of $75,235, while the per capita income is $36,955.
These numbers show that many people need the most help from food banks and charitable organizations. Let's now look at other reasons why these people need assistance the most.
Why Do They Need The Most?It is those who live below the poverty line who have the greatest need for help. Not only are the homeless and those scrounging for food and recyclable items to make ends meet, but they are also included in this category. People who are employed are also regarded as having the greatest need for food donations and other assistance.
Regarding food banks, those with employment are more likely to utilize their services because of low wages, delayed obtaining benefits, and changes in the number of other benefits available. These issues are exacerbated by a flawed welfare system, a substandard health care system, traumatic life experiences, and a lack of community support.
It has led to many people in need being dependent on charitable activities and organizations such as food banks and pantries, either partially or entirely.
How To Identify Them?Food banks may be a valuable resource for anybody trying to provide for their family or themselves with nutritious food. They do a better job of identifying individuals who are in the most desperate need. To identify individuals who may need food assistance, food banks have developed a screening procedure that they use. They gather demographic information from applicants and conduct interviews to evaluate whether they are eligible for food assistance.
After being accepted into the food bank program, you must complete the registration process. Some food banks only take individual registrations, while others allow both. Those who do not have children will register as single people, families with children, and families without children. Other food banks accept anybody who needs food without the requirement for an application, screening or interviewing them beforehand.
What Services Can They Expect?Food banks are facilities that store and distribute food to smaller front-line organizations that serve the community. They don't typically hand out food to those who need it immediately. They distribute food donations via food pantries and meal programs, which are available as resources. They help the elderly, families, and others who are most in danger of going hungry.
Additionally, food banks contribute to initiatives that help those who need food to become more self-sufficient. They also work to raise awareness about hunger among the public and advocate for legislation protecting individuals from starvation. Individuals, charities, companies, and the government may all play a role in the fight against hunger, as can all other stakeholders.
Food from the industry and donation drives, food banks inventory and store the food they collect before distributing it to various organizations such as food pantries, shelters, and kitchens.
When Can They Get Their Food?It depends on which local food bank you are closest to. You may need to reserve a time for those marked "by appointment only."
Most food banks collaborate with community organizations and healthcare professionals to identify those in need. Food banks provide various services, including bags of food for collection or delivery to people unable to collect in person. Wherever feasible, those choices will be provided so that you and your family may choose appropriate food for you.
The food bank can track who comes and goes from their facility. It helps to ensure that the food bank does everything possible to help those in the greatest need.
In the middle of this global emergency, we can be as blessed as those who have the means. We can also be as unfortunate as those who have nothing. But through working together, we can share our blessings with the unfortunate ones. And through sharing our life challenges, we can get help from those who are blessed. Become a volunteer with Second Harvest or be aided by us. We will each help one another overcome the struggles of life.
There are many ways to extend your hands to community service. One of those is helping people to have good access to food. The presence of food banks in the community is one of the volunteer opportunities that you can try. Volunteering at a food bank can make a huge difference not just in yourself but also in the life of others.
You might not have thought of this type of volunteering, but you may be surprised at the many benefits. These are just a few of the things you need to know about volunteering with such organizations.
How to Volunteer?
Because of the many ways they can help, many people love to be involved with food banks. Volunteering at a food bank can make you an asset, and there are many ways you can help. These are some of the things you could do as a volunteer.
Sorting and Packing
By assembling food boxes for distribution, you can ensure that shelves are stocked. By sorting and packing food, you can help prepare for distribution.
Assistance In Physical Activities
Mobile pantries, drive-thru and no-contact distributions also need your physical assistance. Your neighbors will be grateful that you are helping them feed their families.
Delivery of Meals
Many communities are sheltering in place. You can help ensure that our most vulnerable neighbors receive the food they require while still staying safe.
Many food banks are now asking for volunteers to fundraise and spread awareness online. To help raise funds online, the best way to help is to host a virtual food drive (VFD).
Donating Money/ Groceries
Call your local food bank to find out what they most need and where you can drop it off. Don't worry if you don't have the time. You can also donate money.
Who is Eligible to Volunteer?
Volunteer opportunities are open to anyone willing and able to give their time. Volunteers can apply if they are eight years or older. Their age will determine their responsibilities and duties at the food bank. Volunteers who are eight and older can help in the warehouse, sorting and packing. Volunteers who are 15 or older can help in the mobile food pantry and the kitchen. Also, volunteers under the age of 18 must have a chaperone over 21 from the same household.
How Can I Begin Volunteering?
Volunteers are required to create an online account and register for the spots they want. This registration process applies to everyone, from guardians to children and volunteers. It is essential to complete it before you go to volunteer.
As a registered volunteer, you can schedule yourself for any shift or position you want. Although you can go with your friends, joining larger groups is impossible due to the current pandemic. Warehouses work with a limited number of volunteer spots. Due to social distancing protocols, many of our volunteer jobs must be done by one individual.
You can help those in need by getting involved with community services like the local food bank. Volunteering at a food bank can make a real difference in people's lives. Join Second Harvest today to make the world a warmer and welcoming place for all.