Frequently Asked Questions
For more information on the Second Harvest Food Bank of Southeast North Carolina, or to ask a question not listed below
please contact us at 910-485-6923.
WHAT IS A FOOD BANK?
The Second Harvest Food Bank of Southeast North Carolina is a member of Feeding America, the national food bank network. Food Banks acquire large donations of edible but unmarketable food from the food industry and distribute it to organizations that feed hungry people.
CAN HUNGRY PEOPLE GET FOOD AT THE SECOND HARVEST FOOD BANK?
Not directly. The food collected and warehoused at Second Harvest Food Bank is distributed to qualified 501(c)(3) charities that feed the hungry throughout southeastern North Carolina – organizations such as food pantries, soup kitchens, and emergency shelters. These charities, called member agencies, receive the food from Second Harvest Food Bank and give it to those in need.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A FOOD BANK, FOOD PANTRY, AND SOUP KITCHEN?
A food bank solicits, stores, and distributes large donations of food; donations that a single food pantry could not accept because of a lack of storage capacity at their facility. Food banks feed the needs of hungry people by distributing the donations they receive to a large number of member agencies, such as food pantries and soup kitchens
A food pantry provides food to individuals, families, children and seniors who do not have enough food to eat.
Soup kitchens serve individuals in need of a hot meal, the only meal of the day for many of them. Most soup kitchens serve a full, balanced meal, and some prepare and deliver meals to the homebound, as well.
WHAT TYPE OF FOOD IS DONATED TO THE FOOD BANK?
Most food donations come from the food industry. There are many reasons why products are donated. They may be mislabeled, overproduced, test-market items and products with short code dates.
Second Harvest Food Bank also “salvages” products. The dented cans and crumpled boxes that are pushed aside at the grocery store can be cleaned and sorted by volunteers to provide food pantries and soup kitchens with a variety of food and household products. USDA government foods are also donated by the federal government and made available to agencies. We also receive donations by way of community canned food drives often hosted by individuals, clubs, and businesses. We sometimes have to purchase food with donated dollars as well.
WHY DOES SECOND HARVEST FOOD BANK ACCEPT DONATIONS OF NON-FOOD ITEMS?
Second Harvest Food Bank accepts donations of food and non-food items because both of these help people in need stretch their limited resources. For example, if parents receive notebooks and pencils along with food while visiting a food pantry, they’ll save money on back-to-school supplies for their children. They’ll be able to use those saved dollars to pay for other necessities, like rent, utilities, or gas for a car. Also, people using SNAP benefits (Food Stamps) can only use them for food. SNAP does not cover purchases of items like soap, shampoo, bathroom tissue, or diapers so these items are always in high-demand at pantries. Finally, if the Food Bank turns down donations of non-food items, those materials will end up in a landfill, which is bad for the environment.
DOES SECOND HARVEST FOOD BANK ACCEPT DONATIONS OF PET FOOD?
Yes! The Food Bank accepts donations of pet food so that people in need don’t need to relinquish their furry friends while experiencing hard times.
DOES THE FOOD BANK SELL FOOD?
Second Harvest Food Bank does not, and in fact cannot, sell the donated food it receives. Moreover, the local food pantries and soup kitchens cannot charge the hungry people they serve for this food. The Food Bank does ask the agencies that receive food to cooperate in the support of the Food Bank by contributing a shared maintenance fee for about half of the food they receive. Some food, such as produce, is provided to all agencies free of charge.
WHERE DOES THE FOOD GO?
Second Harvest Food Bank supplies food to such nonprofit organizations as food pantries, senior centers, shelters, after-school programs, soup kitchens, low-income day care centers, and others. These programs turn our food into nutritious, balanced meals for thousands of men, women, and children who otherwise would not get enough to eat.
HOW DOES THE FOOD GET TO THESE AGENCIES?
Second Harvest Food Bank delivers food to its member agencies through a fresh “drop” program at the request of the member agency. Other agencies also make scheduled visits to our warehouse to pick up allotments of food.
TELL ME MORE ABOUT THESE MEMBER AGENCIES…
To be members of the Food Bank, agencies must be not-for-profit, 501(c)(3) organizations serving the ill, needy, or infants. They must serve free meals or provide free food packages to the needy, and have proper facilities for storage, cooking, and food handling. Second Harvest Food Bank monitors these agencies on a regular basis to ensure they handle food in a safe, sanitary manner. Emergency feeding programs (food pantries, soup kitchens, and emergency shelters) which are members of the Food Bank provide monthly statistics on the number of people they serve.
TELL ME MORE ABOUT YOUR OPERATIONS…
Second Harvest Food Bank is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation. We serve serve seven counties in southeaster North Carolina: Bladen, Cumberland, Duplin, Harnett, Hoke, Robeson and Sampson. Second Harvest Food Bank employs a dedicated staff and involves thousands of volunteers in its work to feed hungry people. We are not a government agency, and in fact, do not receive government money for our day-to-day operations, although we do administer certain government food programs.
WHERE IS THE FOOD BANK?
Second Harvest Food Bank is located in Fayetteville, North Carolina. Our address is 406 Deep Creek Road, Fayetteville, NC 28312. Our phone number is (910) 485-6923.
CAN WE COME SEE HOW FOOD BANKING WORKS?
Yes! We encourage you to come! Seeing how the food is handled will give you a much better idea of how your donations are being used. Just give us a call to set up a tour, and see for yourself how food banking is helping to feed the hungry in your community! Please contact us to set up a tour at 910-485-6923.
HOW DO I FIND THE FOOD PANTRY NEAREST TO ME?
Use the Find Food link on this website: www.HungerCantWait.org, or call our reception desk at 910-485-6923, give us your address, and we’ll find the food pantry nearest you.
WHERE DO YOU GET YOUR FUNDING?
Second Harvest Food Bank is privately funded through a diversity of revenue sources, including special fundraising events, individual donations, and corporate and foundation grants.
CAN A $1 DONATION MAKE A DIFFERENCE?
Of course! Every donated dollar creates 5 meals for the food insecure in our service area. So, a $10 donation will allow us to distribute fifty meals!
HOW CAN I HELP?
Volunteer opportunities are available in the warehouse and office, as well as for special events and projects. For more information, visit the Volunteer section of our website or call the Food Bank at 910-485-6923.
WHY SHOULD I SUPPORT SECOND HARVEST FOOD BANK?
Second Harvest Food Bank serves an important mission of feeding hungry people while preventing food waste. It does so in a very efficient and cost-effective manner. Your help is needed because requests for emergency food have been steadily increasing, especially among the working poor. In fact, the working poor comprise the fastest growing segment of people in need of food assistance. Your donation to our Food Bank will go a long way toward alleviating hunger in our community.