National Food Bank Day is marked on the first Friday of September. This year the celebration will be on September 2. Hunger is a continuing problem in our global community and National Food Bank Day is a reminder to others that no one should go to bed hungry. Food banks provide food to the poor with the help of volunteers and social workers. They also promote tools for self-sufficiency. This day is to honor those workers, volunteers, and food bank charities who work in this regard.
History of National Food Bank Day
St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance is a nonprofit, nonsectarian organization that was founded by John van Hengel in 1967. Van Hegel was looking for a way to prevent the wastage of groceries and eventually came up with the idea of redistributing any food that was not eaten to the hungry. St Mary’s was the first organization to operate using the food bank model. It is considered the first food bank, making St. Mary’s a pioneer in the food banking system. The organization has been successfully alleviating hunger for almost 50 years. This idea of food banks spread and many other food banks were created across the country.
Van Hengel continued his work and founded other food banks as well as the national organization America’s Second Harvest — known today as Feeding America. He also founded the Global Food Banking Network and has since been known as “the father of food banking.” National Food Bank Day was selected on behalf of Van Hengel to commemorate his extraordinary works.
In September 2000, world leaders established Millennium Development Goals and they signed a commitment to achieve them by 2015. The first goal was to end extreme poverty and hunger. They also specified three targets: The first was to halve the proportion of people who suffer from hunger by 2015. The second was to decrease the likelihood of a child dying before age five due to hunger and finally the third was to reduce the rate of extreme poverty. About 40 countries have already achieved the first target and extreme poverty rates have been cut in half since 1990. Food banks are a key component in the realization of these goals. In the U.S. alone, about 42 million people struggle with food insecurity and food banks are helping these people.
National Food Bank Day timeline
In its first year, St Mary’s distributes over 250,000 pounds of food.
Food banks gather popularity in other parts of the U.S.
St Mary’s hits a benchmark with food going through 35 partner agencies.
Walmart and Sam’s Club donate to the “Fight Hunger. Spark Change” campaign in Arizona.
National Food Bank Day FAQs
What is the role of food banks?
Food banks distribute groceries directly to food-insecure families.
How do I qualify for a food bank?
You may get a food bank referral if you have been made redundant or have reduced working hours. You have no money or a change in your circumstances has affected your entitlement to benefits or reduced the amount you receive.
Which is the biggest food bank in the U.S.?
Houston Food Bank is the largest of the Feeding America food banks.
How to Observe National Food Bank Day
Support your local food bank
The help you could give to your local food bank could be by donating money, your time, or food. Whatever your form of support, it will be greatly appreciated.
Run a food drive
Collect food outside your grocery store to keep your local food bank supplied. Partner with other like-minded individuals in order to increase your collection points.
Spread the word
Post to social media using the hashtag #NationalFoodBankDay and create awareness.
5 Facts About Hunger
Hunger is a growing problem
Hunger is the world’s biggest health problem, with about 42 million people facing food insecurity.
Women are affected more than men
Women make up approximately 60% of the world’s population facing hungry.
Malnutrition is causing high mortality
Children under five are susceptible to starvation, and almost five million die of malnourishment.
There are millions of starving Americans]]A Study released in 2013 found that about 49.1 million Americans were struggling with hunger — 33.3 million adults and 15.8 million children.
The food banks in the U.S.]]As of 2015, there were roughly 15,083 food pantries in America.
Why National Food Bank Day is Important
We can give back to society
Supporting National Food Bank Day supports the less fortunate in your community. So go on and give whatever you have.
It is good for the environment
Instead of wasting resources we are disturbing them and putting them to better use. There will be no more throwing away of food.
National Food Bank Day teaches us gratitude
This day serves as a reminder that we have many things to be grateful for. We need such a day to help us be more appreciative of what we have.
National Food Bank Day dates