Giving Compass’ Take:
• Nancy E. Roman explains why food banks need to define success by the promotion of nutritious food, not just the pounds of food distributed.
• How can philanthropy help food banks better measure their impact?
For nearly four decades, the food bank have provided a vital link between food and families in need. Today, more than 200 food banks across the United States distribute millions of tons of provisions to more than 46 million people, or more than 14 percent of the US population. These hubs supply food pantries, churches, and other charities with their offerings for hunger relief, and thereby shape the food ecosystem for low-income America.
Food banks have largely defined their challenge as lack of food. In response, we have collected large quantities—including junk food—distributed it, and measured our success by pounds of output. While bellies have been filled, we have missed a real opportunity to improve the diet and health of those we serve.
In fact, we may have unwittingly made people’s health worse by failing to appreciate the power of food to prevent the troika of diet-related diseases plaguing low-income America: diabetes, heart disease, and obesity. In recent years, the Capital Area Food Bank (CAFB), which I head, has learned that 49 percent of the people we reach have heart disease or live with someone who does, and 23 percent have diabetes or live with someone who does.
Read the full article about food bank success by Nancy E. Roman at Stanford Social Innovation Review.
Food and Nutrition is a complex topic, and others found these selections from the Impact Giving archive from Giving Compass to be good resources.
Looking for a way to get involved?
A good way to complement your interest in Food and Nutrition is to connect with others. Check out these events, galas, conferences or volunteering opportunities related to Food and Nutrition.
Are you ready to give?
In addition to learning and connecting with others, taking action is a key step towards becoming an impact giver. If you are interested in giving with impact for Food and Nutrition take a look at these Giving Funds, Charitable Organizations or Projects.