More than 20% of children in the United States live with food insecurity, meaning that all the household members do not have consistent access to adequate food for active, healthy lives (Coleman-Jensen, McFall, & Nord, 2013). For children, this often means they do not receive proper nutrition, and may miss one or more meals each day. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), “offers nutrition assistance to millions of eligible, low-income individuals and families and provides economic benefits to communities, (USDA, 2016).” It is touted as the, “largest program in the domestic hunger safety net,” and works with State and local government agencies, nutrition experts and educators, as well as neighborhood and faith-based organizations to ensure that people who are eligible receive benefits. (USDA, 2016)
The nonprofit sector supplements the SNAP program through a conglomerate of food assistance programs, primarily pantries and food banks that provide unprepared food, and feeding programs that provide prepared meals. These programs exist in conjunction with government programs because SNAP benefits, while extremely helpful, are largely inadequate to meet the nutrition and dietary needs of recipients.
In economic terms, food assistance programs fill a gap between private demands and public good. Anheier addresses this niche in Nonprofit Organizations: Theory, Management and Policy, “The unfilled demand for the public good may be satisfied by nonprofit organizations, which are established and financed by the voluntary contribution of citizens who want to increase the output or quality of the public good,” (Anheier, p. 121)
There are many organizations and individuals who ha...
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...ducing childhood hunger. Similarly, to the Food Bank, they offer a weekend meal program called Backpack Buddies, Kids Café’s, Summer Meals, as well as Health Snacks and Tutoring. In addition, they operate a free kids’ food truck called the Mobile Tastiness Machine. (IFFS, 2016)
The Children’s Hunger Relief programs offered by IFFS are similar to those offered by the Food Bank. The two organizations work in unison to avoid service overlaps and serve those in the greatest need. In the seven county triangle area, IFFS serves more than 118,000 children each year.
IFFS relies heavily on volunteers. They utilize culinary interns to prepare food and operate the Mobile Tastiness Machine and many of the Summer Meals sites. The meals at the Healthy Snacks and Tutoring locations are prepared offsite by students in a culinary job training program and reheated by volunteers.