Feeding America (formerly America’s Second Harvest) has released a report, Food Banks: Hunger’s New Staple – Preliminary Findings. The findings included that the use of food banks has changed with the economy. Food banks, originally part of the “emergency network” to meet short-term needs, have become a service that people rely on more and more.
The research suggests that food from pantries is not just being used to meet temporary needs – instead, for the majority of people seeking food assistance, pantries are now a part of households’ long term strategies to meet their food needs.
The study also highlights the key role that the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly called the Food Stamp Program) plays in helping the hungry and poor and suggests that the existing SNAP benefits are not sufficient.
Emergency food is no longer used to meet temporary food needs.