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 banks throughout the country. Your donations help Feeding America provide that food to people who need it. In 2021, our partners donated more than 2.9 billion  to Feeding America.

Our generous supporters help cover the cost of sorting, storing, and transporting that food to reach our neighbors. This means good food goes to 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 operating expenses include but are not limited to, collecting, storing, and transporting food to our partnering 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, giving us our meal per dollar figure.

We review the cost per meal annually 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 to survive and 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 provide meals to more than 40 million people annually. Learn more about becoming a product partner.