"$1 feeds a family of four"

This is the claim that the local food bank makes, trying to solicit funds. I looked on their website Second Harvest FOod Bank, but don’t see anything that backs up their claim. Besides just handing out a quarter’s worth of beans and rice, is this possible? How do they come up with this figure?

StG

I used to work for the national office, America’s Second Harvest (now called Feeding America). The idea is basically that they divide their total donations by the number of families fed, and derive the “cost” of feeding a family. They’re not saying “We can feed a family on a dollar”, they’re saying, “For every dollar donated, we feed a family”.

And yes, it’s totally possible. Your donations don’t directly purchase the food they give out; that’s primarily donated by manufacturers in large quantities. Their costs are things like warehousing the food, shipping the food from the donor to their facility (unless they can get a trucking company to donate shipping), and paying their employees.

I have to admit, $1.00 seems a tad low, but I suppose if you buy in bulk and are not talking about lobster and steak, you might be able to parcel out some potatoes, small onion, a carrot or two and whip up a soup or something…

It would have to be a family that is not really all that hungry though, which I guess sort of defeats the purpose.

Maybe there are matching funds?
Ooops - double post and it looks like it was answered better by Heart of Dorkness.

Oh yes it’s possible because they feed these families gruel. My brother was a missionary and he worked in Africa during the 70s and that what they ate. They got gruel.

Now before you say “Ewww…” this is soy based gruel that has been fortified with vitamins. It is a complete food. You just add water. Of course in a lot of places, clean. fresh water is a bigger issue than food.

We as Americans forget that you don’t need a varied diet. You can get a very cheap monotomous diet. We don’t want to eat the same thing twice a week much less every single day, three meals a day.

You take soy powder mix it in with whatever grain is cheap and throw in some fat and dry it out and send it to the underdeveloped countries and they get a gruel that is a total meal.

Markxxx - This isn’t going out to Third-World countries, this is a local community food bank that helps folks who don’t have enough to eat, donates to soup kitchens, that sort of thing.

Heart of Dorkness - Thanks for the low-down. I figured it was something like that, but it seems sort of disingenuous.

StG

When our local food bank had a major freezer failure and lost a lot of meat, they asked specifically for donations, NOT for meat, because they could do a lot better with money than you could because they buy in bulk, get special deals, etc.

In the 990 page 23, they do mention collecting food donations:

NASHVILLE’S TABLE: COLLECTS PERISHABLE FOOD FROM MORE THAN
170 FOOD DONORS, SUCH AS RESTAURANTS, GROCERY STORES,
CAFETERIAS, RETAILER, WHOLESALERS,BAKERIES, AND CATERERS,
WHICH IS THEN DISTRIBUTED TO MORE THAN 140 NONPROFIT PARTNER
AGENCIES SUCH AS LOW INCOME DAY-CARE CENTERS, SOUP KITCHENS,
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE SHELTERS, REHABILITATION CENTERS, AND
SENIOR CITIZENS’ CENTERS. DURING 2008, THE AGENCY
DISTRIBUTED OVER 1,326,000 POUNDS OF FOOD (EQUIVALENT TO
MORE THAN ONE MILLION MEALS) UNDER THIS PROGRAM.

Glad I could help, but I’m not sure why it’s disingenuous. They are indeed using that dollar to feed a family, and they wouldn’t be able to feed that family without that dollar. They’re just not buying the food directly. Instead, they’re paying the costs associated with *procuring *that food.

What will usually happen is something like this: a major food manufacturer has a surplus they can no longer sell. It might be due to seasonal packaging (like holiday-themed cereals or cookies), or it might be close enough to the expiration date that it wouldn’t be worth it for stores to try to put it on the shelves. So, for whatever reason, the manufacturer offers it for donation. But they’re already taking a loss on it, so they’re not going to pay thousands of dollars to have it shipped to the food bank. So the food bank can only take the donation if they can arrange and pay for shipping. Then, once they get it, they have to put it somewhere. So they also need to pay for a warehouse with refrigeration and freezer units. And they need staff to solicit and coordinate the food donations, work with the trucking companies to arrange discounts, run the warehouse, and sort, pack, and distribute the food.

When you buy food at the grocery store, a percentage of what you pay goes to shipping, storage, and logistics. This is the same thing, except that no one is turning a profit on the food.

There’s a rip-off pad of coupons at the checkout you can add to your grocery bill. I think it’s from the local food bank. They say you can provide a meal to a family of four for a little over $2. It used to be $1.89.