What exactly do I mean by Food Bank?

When I moved to Kentucky, USA from Scotland in 1999 I knew I would need a job once I received my work permit.
Arianna & I were married on 26 June 1999, and the day after after our honeymoon I started work work with God's Pantry Food Bank on 6 July 1999.

God's Pantry Food Bank Logo

This organisation was recommended by my "Dragon-in-Law" Eva, as she knew it would fit with my warehousing and delivery driving background.
The whole concept of a Food Bank was new to me. Sure I knew that there were organisations that helped people get food, but I had never heard of the term "Food Bank" before.
Before I tell you more of my experience with God's Pantry Food Bank, and the numbers involved, let's look at what others believe a Food Bank is.

As mentioned I am from Scotland, and still talk to a lot of family and friends from the United Kingdom.
When they hear the words "Food Bank" they think of their local pantry where a non-profit company or church hands out food to those in need.
My home town is Elgin, in Moray County. They have such an organisation that used to be named Moray Food Bank, but is now Moray Food Plus.

Moray Food Plus Logo

Their website states that they supported 6,728 people between April 2021 and March 2022.
That is such an amazing local work.
Thank you Moray Food Plus!

A good friend of mine is the Pastor of Reach Church, Stalybrige, Manchester, England. I watch their streamed Sunday morning services most weeks.
As part of their Notices section they will inform us what items their Food Bank needs donated that week.
They are part of Tameside East Food Bank.

Tameside East Food Bank Logo

Their website states that the number of people given three-day emergency food supplies by this Food Bank in 2022 is 5,857.
They also say this is 50,649.9 KG of food. (111,664 LB)
Truly wonderful.
Thank you Tameside East Food Bank!

Now let us go back to God's Pantry Food Bank.
When I started in 1999, we had 12 paid staff, and distributed 6,000,000 LB (2,721,554 KG) of food that year to 50 of the 120 counties of Kentucky.
That is equal to 150 full semi-truckloads.
Then, and now, I am absolutely astounded by the need that is in this affluent Country of the United States of America, but glad that there are organisations that are fighting the battle against hunger.

God's Pantry Food Bank coverage area in Kentucky

Jump forward to current day, and we have have 72 full time staff in 5 locations, distributing 42,000,000 LB (19,050,880 KG) of food per year.
That is equal to 1,050 full semi-truckloads.

According to Feeding America's Map the Meal Gap we have about 250,000 people who are Food Insecure in our service area.
By the way, we could not do what we do without the hundreds of volunteers that assist us every year in so many various ways. Thank you volunteers!

We receive our food from the USDA, international and national companies, retail stores, farmers, local stores, and of course the public.
My title with God's Pantry Food Bank is: Food Procurement and Reporting Officer.
Yes, we have a Scotsman in charge of spending! I purchase full truckloads of food with donated money, including from grants.
One reason we say that we are able to purchase $10 of food for every $1 given, is that I am able to pay for the freight on a totally free donated truckload of food.

If you go to our Find Help page, you will see a listing of our 50 counties, and clicking on a county will give you a list of information regarding our Partner Agencies in that area.
These Partner Agencies are affiliated to God's Pantry Food Bank, just like we are part of Feeding America.
Many of these Agencies are Soup Kitchens, Children's Programs, Senior Programs, and Food Pantries.
Now you can see that when I think of Moray Food Plus and Tameside East Food Bank I think of Food Pantries.
I know it is all in the wording, and nobody is wrong. We actually have Partner Agencies that call themselves a Food Bank. It can get a little confusing.

This July I shall have been employed by God's Pantry Food Bank for 24 years. It has been an amazing experience.
All that said, it truly is the only job I have ever had which I absolutely enjoy, but totally wish did not exist!!

Peter Paterson - SolusSpider


Spider-Man standing in a storm

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