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What’s the Big Difference? Food Banks vs Food Pantries

What’s the Big Difference? Food Banks vs Food Pantries
food bank vs. food pantry

Food Banks and Food Pantries are not the same.

Yes, both have similar purposes (they collect and provide food), they both have similar missions (provide food to those who might be without), and they have similar titles (Banks and Pantries are both known for housing and holding goods), however these are very different organizations and it is high time you understood the difference.

Food Pantries: A food pantry is often organized and run by a local organization such as a community group, church, or civic organization. Food pantries often serve an immediate and small community and focus on directly providing resources to local residents. Food pantries are often self-governing organizations and often provide food on a monthly basis.

Food Banks: If food pantries are the local mom and pop store, food banks are the big box stores. Food banks are known to house millions of pounds of food and other products for a multitude of communities.   Food banks are the home to vast quantities of food and products, and often distribute their goods to the public via partnering programs – often food pantries.

The goal and the mission is the same, and the symbiotic relationship between Food Banks and Food Pantries is a special and productive one. Through the mass quantities of goods collected by Food Banks, Food Pantries are able to distribute and reach out to local individuals who are in need of their goods. Two different entities with two special purposes, all working towards the same mission of helping those in areas of food insecurity. Know the differences, but support them both.


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