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Food banks in the United States: where and how to get free food during a pandemic

Food Bank (Food Bank) is a charitable organization that collects food products from manufacturers and suppliers and transfers them to those in need.

Photo: shutterstock

The Food Bank accepts food products free of charge, including those whose expiration dates are close to expiration, packs them with the help of volunteers and delivers them to needy people. At the same time, a strict product quality control system is in place.

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Foodbank is not directly involved in the distribution of products. This is done by a network of cooperating organizations - it includes local charities and social institutions, which have established direct contact with those in need. To cover the costs of logistics and the subsequent sorting of the collected products, campaigns are held to collect donations from individuals and organizations.

How one of the largest food banks in the USA works during the epidemic

Tens of millions of Americans have restricted their movement and communication due to quarantine. In the meantime, charitable organizations that distribute food to the poor continue their work, as many people left without a job (sometimes without a livelihood) need help more than ever. Here's what happens behind the scenes of one of the largest food banks in the US, in Los Angeles, California.

The Los Angeles Regional Food Bank is a charitable organization with hundreds of smaller organizations. They all provide food for the poor. Since 2019, the food bank can barely cope with a large request for help due to the fact that there are a large number of homeless people in the city and very high rental prices. Now, during the pandemic, the problem of providing people with food has become more acute than ever.

“We faced this in January and February, but now, due to the great demand for help, it was like we were in a different world,” says Michael Flod, a spokesman for the Los Angeles Food Bank.

The economic crisis caused by the coronavirus forced the expansion of food supplies. The number of deliveries is growing every week.

According to Michael Flod, “there were 700 needy families, then 800, then 950”.

Most of those who asked for help are people who have lost their jobs, or those who can still work, but by order of the governors and mayors of cities, they are forced to stay at home.

Food banks in different states can help each other. However, in some states, food delivery charities still closed along with many other companies.

“Basically, they closed because their leaders are elderly people who were forced to quarantine. Now the remaining food banks are trying to cover those regions as well, ”says Zuani Villarial, a spokesman for the Feeding America charity network.

The only thing that worsens the food situation is a significant reduction in charitable contributions. To cover the shortage, food banks buy food in stores.

How to find the food bank closest to you

On sites Feeding america и Food pantries There are search engines to help you find the closest organization that supplies food to those in need. Online Сharity navigator You can make a charity contribution to any food bank and get acquainted with their data.

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List of the largest food banks in some states:


  1. Second Harvest Food Bank of Orange County
  2. Jacobs & Cushman San Diego Food Bank
  3. The redwood empire food bank
  4. Second Harvest of Silicon Valley
  5. Los Angeles Regional Food Bank
  6. The foodbank of southern california
  7. Food share
  8. Food for people
  9. California Emergency Foodlink
  10. Food finders
  11. Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano
  12. Alameda County Community Food Bank
  13. Feeding san diego
  14. Second Harvest Food Bank Santa Cruz County


  1. Food Bank of Central New York
  2. Food Bank of Western New York, Inc
  3. Long island cares
  4. Foodlink


  1. All faiths food bank
  2. Harry Chapin Food Bank of Southwest Florida
  3. Treasure coast food bank
  4. America's Second Harvest of the Big Bend
  5. Feeding south florida
  6. Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida
  7. Feeding tampa bay


  1. Table to table
  2. Interfaith food pantry
  3. Fulfill
  4. Nourish.nj


  1. Midwest Food Bank, NFP
  2. Loaves & Fishes Community Services
  3. Greater Chicago Food Depository
  4. Central illinois foodbank
  5. Eastern Illinois Foodbank

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