How Feeding America turns $1 into at least 10 Meals

Feeding America works with manufacturers and retailers to donate food that would otherwise go to waste. Our partners donate truckloads of food they are unable to sell. That rescued food then travels to food bank members throughout the country. Your donations help Feeding America provide that food to people who need it. In 2020, our partners donated more than 2 billion pounds of food to Feeding America.

Our generous supporters help to cover the cost of sorting, storing, and transporting that food on its way to reach our neighbors in need. This means good food reaches our food banks quickly and we use our resources wisely.

How we calculate the cost of a meal

We calculate the cost of a meal by looking at how much food is donated to Feeding America and Feeding America's operational costs. Our operational costs include, but are not limited to, collecting, storing, and transporting food to our member food banks.

We divide the total number of pounds of donated food by what it costs to keep Feeding America running smoothly and getting that food where it needs to go. That gives us the number of pounds of food we secured on behalf of local food banks per dollar. Each meal is roughly 1.2 pounds of food so that gives us our meal per dollar figure.

We review the cost per meal on an annual basis to ensure it continues to reflect Feeding America’s national food sourcing efforts and cost structure.

Impact of Inflation

Today, inflation impacts every aspect of our operation, including food prices, transportation, storage, fuel, and wages. As a result, we face unprecedented challenges in helping our neighbors’ ability not just to survive but to thrive. Unfortunately, more people must decide between paying for food or other necessities like rent. For the Feeding America network to continue providing food and assistance to the tens of millions turning to us for help, we need continued support, now more than ever.

Become a product partner

Our partners help to provide meals to more than 40 million people each year. Learn more about becoming a product partner.

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