|HOAMC Members help sort and pack food supplies|
About the Kansas Food Bank...
Our mission is to provide comprehensive and compassionate HungerCare whenever and wherever it is needed to safeguard the health, well-being and productivity of food-insecure Kansas families and their children, as well as senior citizens, the homeless and the chronically ill and impoverished among us.
The Kansas Food Bank has the mission of providing hunger-relief whenever and wherever it is needed throughout our 85-county service area. We are committed to safeguarding the health, well-being and productivity of food-insecure Kansas families and their children, as well as senior citizens, the homeless and the chronically ill, and all who live in poverty.
We partner with hunger relief agencies across the state: food pantries, soup kitchens and shelters to reach individuals and families who seek food assistance. In addition the Kansas Food Bank runs several programs geared towards reaching children, families and senior citizens who experience food insecurity. Each week we provide a meal to over 137,000 Kansans who rely on our network.
The Kansas Food Bank began operations in a rented building in 1984, serving just 16 agencies in a single county. Twenty-nine years later we are serving over 500 hunger-relief partners in 85 counties, with over 11.5 million lbs. of food distributed in the past year. We attribute our on-going growth to several moves intended to increase the number of hungry people we help, the ways in which we help, and the amount of food we distribute.
- In 1985, the Kansas Food Bank became affiliated with Feeding America (known then as America’s Second Harvest), a national nonprofit that coordinates collection and distribution of millions of tons of food from national corporations that would otherwise be discarded as unmarketable waste.
- To meet the demand for more nutritious, high protein food to our clients such as meat and peanut butter, we began supplementing donated food with purchased food. We source food from numerous entities to meet the needs of our partner agencies and their pantry guests. As manufacturers have become lean in their business practices, we find the need to purchase more food to supply our partners with.
- In response to a state task force which reported that the number of children at risk of hunger because of lack of food available to people in poverty in rural Kansas, the food bank started a rural delivery program. Today that program reaches all 73,000 square miles that the food bank covers. Deliveries are made monthly to Dodge City, Garden City, Liberal, Colby, Goodland, Hays, Victoria, Great Bend, Concordia, Salina, Emporia, Junction City, Prescott, Ft. Scott and Iola. Rural delivery distribution got a big boost in 1997 when the Kansas Food Bank opened an 18,500 sq. ft. warehouse in Independence, doubling the food distributed to Southeast Kansas.
- In 2004, the Kansas Food Bank took another significant step in serving children by launching the Food 4 Kids backpack program. Food 4 Kids is designed to fill in the weekend gap in existing feeding programs designed to serve children at the highest risk of chronic undernourishment. Specifically, Food 4 Kids provides emergency weekend food — distributed in zip-bags that can be slipped into children’s school backpacks — to kids who exhibit physical and behavioral signs of not otherwise eating on the days they are away from school meal programs. What began with 60 students in a few schools has grown into a program that now serves 7,100 children in 400 schools in 58 counties.
- To reach under-served area of our state the Kansas Food Bank went mobile in 2011. Mobile pantries are deployed to reach under-served areas of our state that lack pantry infrastructure. Mobile pantries are simply a pantry on wheels. By operating mobile units, we can effectively and efficiently reach food insecure households in rural communities.
- SNAP Outreach also started in 2011. Our outreach worker focuses on rural areas within our service area where Department of Children and Family Services does not have offices. We assist low income households with the application process so they may receive monthly food benefits.
- A commitment to increase fresh produce distribution began in 2011. As food banking has evolved, so has the need for us to provide healthy, nutritious items. All too often, the first thing to get cut from budgets of cash strapped families is fresh produce. We are now providing over 1.5 million pound of fresh items throughout our distribution network. This allows families items that are better for them, lower in sugar, calories and sodium.
- 2012 marked the year that seniors who are too proud to seek assistance were reached with our latest program Bob Box. Bob Box is endorsed and sponsored by Senator Bob Dole, a name trusted by all Kansans. All too often, seniors will choose to go without food before asking for help. Bob Box has been instrumental in reaching those seniors. The program launched in Northwest KS and will expand to the Southwest area of our state this fall. It has a five year roll out plan for the entire 85 counties we serve.
WICHITA – August 18, 2014 – A new study by the Kansas Food Bank and Feeding America shows that 1 in 7 people, or an estimated 215,300 people, in the Kansas Food Bank’s service area turn to food pantries and meal service programs to feed themselves and their families. This includes 68,900 children and 19,900 seniors.
The Hunger in America 2014 local findings show that 22,100 people are served each week by agencies supported through the Kansas Food Bank. Accounting for multiple agency visits, 1,468,900 clients turned to Kansas Food Bank network agencies over the course of the year. This means clients are visiting Kansas Food Bank network agencies an average of 7 times a year.
The study documents household demographics and offers a snapshot of the people served by the Kansas Food Bank – their circumstances, the challenges they face and the choices they are forced to make living on extremely limited household incomes. It is also the first nationally-representative study that assesses the prevalence of past and current members of the U.S. Military and adult students receiving charitable food assistance.
Key statistics from the report for the Kansas Food Bank service area include:
WIDESPREAD USE OF FOOD ASSISTANCE
- Kansas Food Bank serves 215,300 people annually, including 68,900 children and 19,900 seniors.
- Among all clients, 14 percent are black, 37 percent are Latino, and 42 percent are white.
- 11 percent of adult clients are students.
- 14 percent of households include someone who is a veteran or who has ever served in the military.
- 82 percent of households report purchasing inexpensive, unhealthy food because they could not afford healthier options.
- 66 percent of households report having to choose between paying for food and paying for medicine or medical care.
- 27 percent of households include a member with diabetes.
- 48 percent households have a member with high blood pressure.
Following are the choices client households reported making in the past 12 months:
- 71 percent report choosing between paying for food and paying for utilities.
- 35 percent of these households are making the choice every month.
- 73 percent report making choices between paying for food and paying for transportation.
- 35 percent of these households are making the choice every month.
- 66 percent report choosing between paying for food and paying for medicine/medical care.
- 30 percent of these households are making the choice every month.
- 60 percent report choosing between paying for food and paying for housing.
- 28 percent of these households are making the choice every month.
- 31 percent report choosing between paying for food and paying for education expenses.
- 15 percent are making the choice every month.
- 52 percent report eating food past the expiration date;
- 14 percent report growing food in a garden;
- 37 percent report pawning or selling personal property;
- 82 percent report purchasing inexpensive, unhealthy food;
- 33 percent report watering down food or drinks;
- 55 percent report receiving help from friends or family.
- 12 percent of respondents have faced foreclosure or eviction in the past five years.
- Among all households served by Kansas Food Bank agencies and programs, 60 percent have at least one member who has been employed in the past year.
- 47 percent of all households with an employed person, the person with the longest employment duration, is likely to only be employed part-time.
The study was funded by The Howard G. Buffett Foundation.
How to Help
Financial donations make the largest impact. Every $1 you donate can allow us to provide up to $10 worth of food to hungry Kansans. Click on the Donate Now icon for a variety of ways to make cash donations.
The Kansas Food Bank welcomes gifts of food through canned food drives. Click on the Donate Food icon if you are interested in sponsoring a good drive or want to learn where to drop off food at existing drives. And if you’d rather not haul cans around, please consider donating to one of our Virtual Food Drives.
The Kansas Food Bank depends on thousands of community volunteers to successfully distribute food to our 500+ hunger-relief partners around the state. Click on the Volunteer icon to learn how you and/or your organization can help by filling bags for the Food4Kids program and other ways.
Kansas Food Bank – Cargill Cares Complex
1919 E. Douglas, Wichita, Kansas 67211