Feeding America

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Feeding America
Feeding America logo.svg
Formation 1979 (1979)
Type Non-profit
Headquarters 35 East Wacker
Chicago, Illinois
Coordinates 41°53′11″N 87°37′36″W / 41.88639°N 87.62667°W / 41.88639; -87.62667
Region served
United States
200 food banks
Diana Aviv
Main organ
Board of Directors
Website http://feedingamerica.org

Feeding America is a United States-based non-profit organization that is a nationwide network of food banks that feeds more than 46 million people through food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters, and other community-based agencies in communities across America[1] and leads the nation in the fight against hunger.

The CEO is Diana Aviv.[2] Feeding America was known as America's Second Harvest until August 31, 2008.[3] (For Second Harvest Toronto, see Second Harvest).


In the late 1960s, John van Hengel, a retired businessman in Phoenix, Arizona began volunteering at a local soup kitchen, and began soliciting food donations for the kitchen. He ended up with far more food than the kitchen could use in its operations. Around this time, he spoke with one of the clients, who told him that she regularly fed her family with discarded items from the grocery store's garbage bins. She told him that the food quality was fine, but that there should be a place where unwanted food could be stored and later accessed by people who needed it, similar to how banks store money.

Van Hengel began to actively solicit this unwanted food from grocery stores, local gardens, and nearby produce farms. His effort led to the creation of St. Mary's Food Bank in Phoenix, the nation's first food bank.[4]

In 1975, St. Mary's was given a federal grant to assist in developing food banks across the nation. This effort was formally incorporated into a separate non-profit organization in 1976.[5]

In 2001, America's Second Harvest merged with Foodchain,[6] at that time the nation's largest food-rescue organization.

Between January 1, 2004 and November 16, 2004, there were exactly 84,309,267,423 pounds of food wasted. There used to be a counting device on the homepage of America's Second Harvest website that told you how much food had been wasted in the United States that year. If you wanted to help stop the waste you could click on Stop the Waste and donate money to the food bank.[7]

In May 2007, it was featured on American Idol, named as a charity in the Idol Gives Back charity program.[8]

In September 2008, the organization name was changed to Feeding America. The new name conveys the mission—providing food to Americans living with hunger—and will be supported through expansive public outreach campaigns that will raise awareness of domestic hunger and Feeding America's work.

In August 2009, Columbia Records announced that all U.S. royalties from Bob Dylan's album Christmas in the Heart would be donated to Feeding America, in perpetuity.

There has been a rise in the numbers suffering from hunger since the 2008 financial crisis. In 2013, the USDA reported that about 49 million Americans were now facing the condition, about one in six of the population.[9] In September, they launched Hunger Action Month, with events planned all over the nation, to raise awareness and get more Americans involved in helping out.[10][11][12]

Network programs[edit]

Feeding America works to educate the general public and keep them informed about hunger in America. The national office produces educational and research papers that spotlight aspects of hunger and provides information on hunger, poverty and the programs that serve vulnerable Americans. Feeding America's public policy staff works with legislators, conducting research, testifying at hearings and advocating for changes in public attitudes and laws that support Feeding America's network and those the organization serves.[13]

Notable food banks in the network[edit]


  1. ^ Feeding America. "Hunger in America 2014". http://www.feedingamerica.org/hunger-in-america/our-research/hunger-in-america/.  External link in |website= (help);
  2. ^ "Diana Aviv Named CEO of Feeding America". 2007-10-15. Archived from the original on |archive-url= requires |archive-date= (help). Retrieved 2008-07-21. 
  3. ^ http://www.secondharvest.org/about_us/feeding_america.html
  4. ^ "Transitions". 2005-10-09. Archived from the original on 2008-07-21. Retrieved 2008-07-21. 
  5. ^ Patricia Sullivan (2005-10-08). "John van Hengel Dies at 83; Founded 1st Food Bank in 1967". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on 2008-07-21. Retrieved 2008-07-21. 
  6. ^ O'Connor, Alice; Mink, Gwendolyn (2004). Poverty in the United States: an encyclopedia of history, politics, and policy. Santa Barbara, Calif: ABC-CLIO. p. 389. ISBN 1-57607-597-4. 
  7. ^ Winne, Mark (2008). Closing the Food Gap. Boston, Massachusetts: Beacon Press. p. 70. ISBN 978-0-8070-4730-9. 
  8. ^ "'Idol' Charity Donations Top $60M - washingtonpost.com". The Washington Post. 2007-04-26. Archived from the original on 2008-07-21. Retrieved 2008-07-21. 
  9. ^ Coleman Jensen, Alicia; et al. "Household Food Security in the United States in 2013". http://www.ers.usda.gov/publications/err-economic-research-report/err173.aspx.  External link in |website= (help);
  10. ^ Anti-hunger efforts under way in area Beloit daily news. 6 Sept 2012
  11. ^ Food banks spotlight hunger awareness Amarillo globe news. 7 Sept 2012
  12. ^ Alex Ferreras (2012-07-11). "Thousands More in Solano, Napa Counties are Turning to Food Banks". Retrieved 2012-09-08. 
  13. ^ http://www.bbb.org/charity-reviews/national/human-services/feeding-america-in-chicago-il-2331

External links[edit]