Food Bank vs. Food Pantry
Many people use the terms “food bank” and “food pantry” interchangeably but they are distinctly different in their purpose and operation.
As shown in the illustration below, Food Banks are typically large regional organizations that receive donations from a variety of food providers and receive preferential pricing from wholesalers. Food banks do not distribute food directly to the public but rather to a selected network of food pantries and soup kitchens. The best donation to a food bank is cash as they receive food donations from retail and wholesale excesses and donation dollars allow them to use their buying power to “fill in” needed items at low cost.
At the same time, there are many independent Triad food pantries currently serving our neighbors in need that do not receive any benefits from the regional food bank and must rely solely on individuals and group food drives in order to stock their shelves. These are the food pantries we hope to help by encouraging our subscribers to buy a little extra on each shopping trip.