Encyclopedia of Food and Agricultural Ethics

Living Edition
| Editors: David M. Kaplan

Emergency Food System: Soup Kitchens and Food Pantries

  • Christine Caruso
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-007-6167-4_390-2



More than 800 million people globally do not have access to sufficient amounts of food on a consistent basis. The emergency food system, also referred to as the emergency food assistance system (by the USDA) or emergency food relief, is part of the private sector’s efforts to address hunger and food insecurity among low-income individuals and families, as well as other vulnerable populations such as seniors and the homeless. As the name implies, programs under this umbrella aim to supply food to people in need on a temporary and supplemental basis at no cost. However, in many parts of the world the experience of hunger is an ongoing issue for a large number of individuals, and as such people in need may access emergency food resources on an ongoing basis and rely on these resources as their primary means of accessing food.

In the USA, approximately one in six people, including...


Food Insecurity Food Waste Food Assistance Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Food Bank 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Environmental PsychologyCUNY Graduate CenterNew YorkUSA