Feeding America, a nationwide network of food banks, today announced the launch of Collaborating for Clients, a groundbreaking initiative that is bringing nonprofit organizations together in an effort to reduce hunger and improve the lives of low-income families. Partners in the Collaborating for Clients initiative will work to address food insecurity and will help families find affordable housing, job training, steady employment, and health care services.
“Our network’s core service of food distribution provides essential assistance to millions of vulnerable and food-insecure people every week, but this traditional food assistance model is not achieving an end to hunger in this country,” Maura Daly, Chief External Affairs Officer of Feeding America, explained. “Hunger is a complex issue that does not exist in isolation. When people visit food pantries, they are not only struggling to put food on the table, they are often struggling to pay for rent, utilities, childcare, and medical bills. By integrating our services with those of other programs, we believe that we can help to improve our clients overall well-being.”
This fall, Feeding America is launching Collaborating for Clients pilot programs through five local food banks in various regions of the country. Participating food banks include:
“These pilot programs will help us learn how food banks can best work with other partner organizations to make significant and measurable change in the communities they serve. Our goal is to bring together our expertise and broad reach to improve the stability of people across the country,” Daly said.
The pilot programs are expected to last for three years and are funded by a $4.4 million grant from the Laura and John Arnold Foundation (LJAF).
“Our work at the Laura and John Arnold Foundation is focused on addressing the root causes of pressing social problems,” LJAF Vice President of Public Accountability Josh McGee explained. “In order to reduce hunger, we must not only provide families with their next meal, we must target the underlying issues that can lead to hunger in the first place. The Collaborating for Clients initiative is designed to do just that. It will offer wrap-around services to help families achieve a stable and prosperous future.”
Among the fundamental barriers to eradicating hunger in America is that food insecurity—defined as not having sufficient financial and supporting resources to access adequate and nutritious food on an ongoing basis—typically is just one of many challenges low-income people face.
According to the USDA, more than 48 million people in the United States are food insecure. Food pantries that were once considered a resource for temporary food assistance have become a part of many households’ regular coping strategies to put food on the table.
Feeding America is working to address this issue and recently adopted a new 10-year goal to provide access to enough nutritious food for everyone struggling with hunger and to improve food security for the people served to help them stabilize their lives.
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Feeding America is the nationwide network of 200 food banks that leads the fight against hunger in the United States. Together, we provide food to more than 46 million people through 60,000 food pantries and meal programs in communities across America. Feeding America also supports programs that improve food security among the people we serve; educates the public about the problem of hunger; and advocates for legislation that protects people from going hungry. Individuals, charities, businesses and government all have a role in ending hunger. Donate. Volunteer. Advocate. Educate. Together we can solve hunger. Visit www.feedingamerica.org, find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.
LJAF is a private foundation that is working to address our nation’s most pressing and persistent challenges using evidence-based, multi-disciplinary approaches. Its strategic investments are currently focused in criminal justice, education, evidence-based policy and innovation, public accountability, research integrity, and science and technology. LJAF has offices in Houston, New York City, and Washington, D.C. www.arnoldfoundation.org.