Encyclopedia of Food and Agricultural Ethics

2019 Edition
| Editors: David M. Kaplan

Food Donation/Emergency Food

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-024-1179-9_508



For the majority of people who seek food assistance, food pantries and food banks are a fixed part of household food sources, even though they are called “emergency food.” The emergency food system is best characterized as a nationalized nonprofit food bank system with thousands of predominately faith-based organizations leading the distribution efforts, though multitudes of providers of emergency food remain outside that system. Even with pantry participation in the federally funded The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) programs, emergency food generally tends to be stationed outside the traditional market with its operating procedures, supply chains, and suppliers largely unregulated, understudied, and forgotten.


Emergency food is the overarching term for foods distributed through shelters, food banks, food pantries, soup kitchens,...

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© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Youth, Family, and Community SciencesNorth Carolina State UniversityRaleighUSA