What is food insecurity?
Food insecurity is a lack of access to adequate healthy foods or enough food for an active healthy life. There is no single root cause for hunger. Often, it is several factors coming together at once, including economic disruption such as job loss, illness, poverty, and lack of transportation with age and race are also key factors.
Food insecurity is a complex issue. It is more common in households (HH) with children, where 14.8% of these HH are struggling with hunger issues (Insightbalancenow.com, 2022). Households with adults who have disabilities are another area that is not often addressed and can result in poor nutrition with medical consequences.
What is the difference between a food bank and a food shelf?
Food banks are organizations which solicits, procures, inventories, and warehouses donated food and other product. Food banks then distributes this inventory to local food shelves or food pantries. Food shelves and pantries are the organizations where an individual or family in need of food can visit and shop or pick up food to take home.
Bountiful Basket Food Shelf in Chaska is an example of a local food shelf. Traditionally, Bountiful Basket has served the Eastern Carver County area, however, during the pandemic all geographic requirements for services has been eliminated. All are welcome.
A food bank is also a not-for-profit organization but is a much larger operation and serves as the “storehouse” for millions of pounds of food and other products that go out to the community. Food shelves will often receive food from a food bank and then offer it to their local area. Their daily operations usually consist of sourcing and gathering food, sorting and cataloging the food, then warehousing the inventory to be distributed to partner agencies.
An example of a food bank in our area is Second Harvest Heartland or nationally, Feeding America network. Both types of organizations depend on donors and volunteers to help with their day-to-day operations and management, often under an executive director or leadership team. They often support hundreds of organizations and partners, including food shelves, congregations, and other non-profit organizations. They may also distribute items other than food.
To visit Bountiful Basket, come to our location at 1600 Bavaria Road in Chaska, MN 55318, or call us for hours at 952-556-0244. Bountifulbasketfoodshelf.org