What Is A Foodbank

What is a Food Bank?
When most people think of feeding the hungry, they envision soup kitchens for the homeless or small food pantries where poor people can visit for a box of canned goods.
But as a Food Bank, Harvest Texarkana is much larger in scope; in fact, it’s the massive behind-the-scenes resource that supports these types of programs that feed the hungry. The Food Bank also provides food for shelters, residential group homes, and after-school programs. The Food Bank is in effect, a distributor and central supply point that procures the food, sorts it, stores it, and efficiently matches it to those in need according to need.

How much food is distributed?
Harvest Texarkana distributed over 2.5 million pounds of food in 2012.  Harvest Texarkana distributed its 10 millionth pound of food in March, 2010. Most of this was surplus product that would otherwise have simply gone to waste.
Where does the food come from?
Starting with Food Rescue, Harvest Texarkana collected excess prepared food from restaurants for immediate distribution and use at shelters and soup kitchens in Texarkana.  This program continues today.  But in addition, Harvest Texarkana began Food Banking in 2005.  The Food Bank solicits donations of food from local, regional, and national producers and manufacturers, wholesalers, distributors and  supermarkets and collects additional products through organized community food drives. Additionally, Harvest Texarkana distributes USDA TEFAP (Commodities) resources to agencies who qualify for this program in the state of Arkansas. 

How is the food distributed?
Harvest Texarkana distributes the resources collected through the membership of over 100 partner agencies.  Through this network of food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters, residential and senior/child care organizations, Harvest Texarkana assists over 50,000 individuals each year.  Harvest Texarkana serves agencies in Bowie County Texas and the 9 southwestern Arkansas counties. 

How is the Food Bank funded?
Harvest Texarkana is a private, non-profit 501(c)3 community service that relies solely on private contributions, foundation grants, and fundraisers. Additionally, shared maintenance contributions from our agency partners assists in meeting the Food Bank’s operating budget. More than 95% of funds go to mission fulfillment; less than 5% for fundraising. Every dollar raised helps distribute seven pounds of food.

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