Food deprivation and insecurity are some of the bitter realities that millions of Americans are facing nowadays. And this stigma is still associated with people who are still relying on food banks to sustain their need for nutritious food.
While this is often the case, the distribution of food for the less fortunate is actually just one facet of food banks that is known to many. But there are other things that you still don’t know about food banks.
And if you’re interested to know more, then we suggest you continue reading as we’ll talk about some of the things food bank volunteers wished you’d knew in today’s blog post.
The Process Of Referring Someone To Receive Food Is Very Specific
While food pantries are known to be welcoming and accessible, individuals can only receive emergency food packs if they have a coupon from an authorized referral establishment like children’s centers, GP surgeries, community mental health organizations, schools, charities for seniors, and social services.
This way, the food bank will be able to reach out to individuals who need food the most. And food banks require coupons so the situations of those individuals who are in need are already assessed by the authorized referral agencies. And once they go to the food pantry, they won’t have to deal with those details anymore.
Food Banks Are More Than Just Giving Food
Visitors are treated as guests, and everyone is offered cheese toastie and coffee upon arrival by volunteers.
And while guests do not undergo specific questioning during casual conversation, the volunteers can offer additional services taking part in playgroups, children’s centers, bereavement centers, mental health services, job clubs, elder people clubs, anxiety counseling groups, and other groups based on the individual’s situational needs.
The fact is food banks exist not just to provide the immediate need for food, but also to help vulnerable guests improve their way of life in their little ways.
Food Pantries Also Offer Financial Counseling On Site
While guests in food banks have a diverse backgrounds, 40% of attendees may either be experiencing delays with their monthly payments or refused to receive welfare benefits (according to a recent survey). That is why many food pantries also offer debt advice and financial counseling to assist people who are facing financial struggles in their lives, from helping them to appeal biased welfare decisions, to assisting guests in filling out forms, and even organizing their loans repayments.
A Vulnerable Individual Is Likely To Visit A Food Pantry At Most 2 Times
A food bank is designed to meet the short-term needs of those people who are experiencing food insecurity not more than 2 times. That’s because their system also includes infra-structure services to address long-term issues and equip these individuals to live their lives a lot better than what they have now.
Giving Donations To Food Banks Is Becoming More Important Now
And lastly, more and more people are using food banks to satisfy their nourishment needs, especially now that the unemployment rate is on the rise because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Indeed, it’s a challenge knowing the demand for food is rising.
But the good thing is that food pantries not only provide the people’s need to suffice hunger for they also offer advice on how they can find new jobs after being laid out and survive the ongoing health crisis with less worries.
Check out Second Harvest of the Greater Valley if you’re looking for a place to volunteer.