Bureau of Food Distribution
The Food Recovery Resource Guide
For Services Available-Food Banks, Food Pantries and Soup Kitchens

Food Banks provide food to other organizations like food pantries, soup kitchens, hunger relief centers, or other food or feeding centers. Usually, food banks do not distribute food directly to individuals.

Food Pantries distribute food to low-income and unemployed households to take home.

Soup Kitchens provide meals to the needy and the homeless on a regular basis.

In addition to perishable and non-perishable commercial foods donated by retailers, manufacturers, food service establishments, etc., many of the agencies listed in this booklet distribute U.S. Department of Agriculture commodities made available through the Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP). Under TEFAP, commodity foods are distributed to organizations (ie., soup kitchens) in the state that use them in congregate feeding facilities for the needy, including the homeless, and to organizations (ie., food pantries) that provide them to eligible households for home consumption.

To be eligible to take commodities home, households must meet established income requirements or participate in another government program such as Food Stamps, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Supplemental Security Income (SSI); Medicaid, or reside in public housing.

There are many worthwhile organizations, not included in this booklet, that provide food assistance directly to the needy. To find the location of a food pantry or soup kitchen in your area, you may contact the local food bank(s) listed by county in this Guide.


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