Food, Agriculture & Nutrition

Furlough Brings a First-Time Visit to a Food Pantry

Good, steady work for nearly a decade. Then, suddenly, nothing.

That’s how it was for Albany Park resident Andrew. He worked at Navy Pier—until he was furloughed in March as a result of the pandemic.

Restaurants gradually reopened . . . so did the restaurant where Andrew and his girlfriend worked—but only at 20% capacity. They weren’t brought back.

The couple tried to get by on unemployment benefits, but to make ends meet, they sought additional help. For the first time in his life, Andrew turned to a local food pantry.

Responding to 2020

Although our centers had to cancel congregate meals due to the pandemic, it didn’t diminish the need for this service. We partnered with a couple of restaurants to provide hot meals and/or reheat meals to pick up curbside and take home. By working out a method of getting orders and delivery times from each participating center, staff coordinated with the restaurants to confirm dates, times, and quantities. To transport the food efficiently, the pickup and deliveries were included in our Food Rescue app and volunteers completed the deliveries to the sites.

Empower More People Like Renana

A couple of hours south of Bhubaneswar in India is the village that Rehana and her family call home. While her husband worked and her younger children went to school, Rehana walked up to six hours a day with her daughter, Sumalila, to get water for cooking, laundry, and baths. She retrieved the water from a water pump managed by the government. As with many municipally managed water sources, the water was available infrequently. Running some days, shut off others. So, on the days it was unavailable, Rehana purchased water from a vendor.

Family Matters

Lavonte is visiting the mobile food program at Rainier Beach Community Center for the third time this month. This time he picks up fresh boxes of produce, and a crate of dairy products. This food will make a difference as his family struggles during the pandemic.

"We're having a tough time", he says. "My mother is battling breast cancer, and we're taking care of my niece, whose family doesn't have the means to support. This food means a lot."

COVID-19 response by the Regional Food Bank

The COVID-19 pandemic and extreme economic challenges has brought about an unprecedented need for food assistance in the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma's 53 county service area. The organization's network of partners in central and western Oklahoma have reported a 30% increase in new clients during the pandemic. To address this need, new and innovative methods have been implemented to respond accounting for safety and for those high risk individuals. In April alone, the Regional Food Bank distributed 6.2 million pounds of food to its network.

Why we do what we do.

One might think that Meals on Wheels only feeds people. However, you would be incorrect. We are so much more than a meal. Most of our homebound friends live alone, no family near and unable to get around. We are their eyes and ears of the world. We are their friends. We hear them when they just need to talk and we’re the smile they need when they’ve seen no one else. We make certain they’re ok mentally, take notes of things that are not normal and seem to be of concern. We are their point of contact in cases of emergency. We feed their pets and provide them incontinent supplies.


The story of the Xenia FISH Food Pantry is a success story that provides hope and encouragement to the community of Greene County, Ohio. It began in a church after the devastating tornado in 1974. The pantry began in 1976. The need for food by so many that were trying to reconstruct their lives precipitated its start. In the beginning, they served around 100 families per month. The pantry continued because of the need that presented itself in the community. They grew and, in 1993, moved to the back area at the county building on Ledbetter Rd.

Gift catalog alpacas improve income, health in Ecuador

As the sun sets over the highlands of Guarguallá Grande, in the Ecuadorian Andes, two cowboys wrangle a herd of 45 alpacas. The men, community elders, are clad in fur chaps, wool ponchos and scarves, and Panama hats. Proud and calm, they pace back and forth on foot and horseback, flanking the alpacas to spur them toward the wooden gate that leads them from their holding pen to grazing lands. The winds steadily pick up throughout the afternoon. The temperature drops quickly as the daylight fades. But the alpacas’ thick, fluffy coats insulate them and their caregivers from the chill.

Second Harvest Food Bank of Northeast Tennessee Programs and Services that Feed the Hungry

Second Harvest Food Bank of Northeast Tennessee (SHFBNT) feeds the hungry by securing and distributing food and engaging the community in solving hunger. SHFBNT has led hunger relief in the eight-county region since 1986. Counties served include Carter, Greene, Hancock, Hawkins, Johnson, Sullivan, Unicoi and Washington. SHFBNT is a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization and an affiliate of Feeding America, the nation’s food bank network.