Feeding America Invests Nearly $1 Billion to Fight Food Insecurity Since the Start of the Pandemic

Majority of Funds Raised for Pandemic Response Has Either Been Distributed or Allocated

December 22, 2021

Feeding America, the nation’s largest hunger-relief charity, reported today that it has invested nearly $1 billion since the start of the pandemic through its most recent fiscal year (Jul 1, 2020 – Jun 30, 2021) and that the majority of those funds raised have already either been directly distributed to network member food banks or have been allocated towards earmark funds to deepen its work to address food insecurity at the local level. Though the pandemic necessitated immediate, short-term solutions to food insecurity, the organization is also looking at solutions to help end hunger in the mid- and long-term and will rely on the continued generosity from the public for those continued investments.

“As the economic crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic pushed more people toward food insecurity, the pandemic also inspired generosity from millions of people who rallied to support their neighbors in need,” said Claire Babineaux-Fontenot, CEO of Feeding America. “We are proud of our long history providing food to tens of millions of people in need and of what we have accomplished together to help the millions more seeking food assistance as a result of the pandemic, and we are deeply committed to furthering those efforts in order to achieve our vision of an America where no one goes hungry.”

Early in the pandemic, food banks across the country started reporting more people turning to them for help, with an average increase over 60 percent across the network. Feeding America acted quickly and established the COVID-19 Response Fund in mid-March 2020 to support food bank response efforts. The Feeding America network faced a set of unprecedented circumstances – supply chain disruptions, increased demand, COVID-19 safety protocols, and smaller teams of volunteers – and was still able to distribute a record number of meals, shift to new distribution models and meet the increase in demand. In calendar year 2020, the Feeding America network mobilized to serve tens of millions of people and distribute 6.1 billion meals, an increase of 44% over the previous year.

To date, Feeding America has:

  • Raised $347 million for the COVID-19 Response Fund and distributed 100% to food banks for COVID-19 response efforts.
  • Established the Food Security Equity Impact Fund with $20 million in seed funding to address systemic barriers and root causes of hunger that disproportionately impact communities of color.
  • Established the Food Security Strategic Priorities Fund with $100 million in seed funding, which will support efforts to increase capacity within Feeding America network of food banks and partner food pantries/meal programs, enrollment and outreach programs for federal benefit programs, and enhancements to the neighbor experience within the food bank network.

The nonprofit, which counts 200 food banks, 21 state associations, and more than 60,000 local partner charities as part of its nationwide network, was recently named the second largest charity in the United States by Forbes.

While the nation still grapples with the pandemic, which continues to have impacts on the economy and on household budgets, the majority of food banks are reporting demand for food assistance either remaining steady or increasing compared to the prior month according to the most recent survey by Feeding America. As Feeding America looks toward 2022, the organization hopes to build on the momentum gained over these last two years and the lessons learned to meaningfully address hunger in America. 

To learn more about Feeding America’s hunger-relief efforts, visit feedingamerica.org.


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About Feeding America

Feeding America® is the largest hunger-relief organization in the United States. Through a network of more than 200 food banks, 21 statewide food bank associations, and over 60,000 partner agencies, food pantries and meal programs, we helped provide 5.2 billion meals to tens of millions of people in need last year. Feeding America also supports programs that prevent food waste and improve food security among the people we serve; brings attention to the social and systemic barriers that contribute to food insecurity in our nation; and advocates for legislation that protects people from going hungry. Visit www.feedingamerica.org, find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.