Thank you to our community partners and grantees at the Mercer Street Friends Food Bank for inviting Community Foundation staff and donors to tour their 15,000-square-foot facility in Ewing Township!

Mercer Street Friends Food Bank Director Rucha Gadre discusses how helping member agencies and their clients to access and consume nutritious food is an important part of the Food Bank’s work.

Mercer Street Friends Food Bank Director Rucha Gadre discusses how helping member agencies and their clients to access and consume nutritious food is an important part of the Food Bank’s work.

Food banks are regional organizations that collect food from a variety of sources. In turn, they distribute food and grocery items through food pantries, soup kitchens, and meal programs that serve residents at risk of hunger.

As such, the Mercer Street Friends Food Bank serves as a vital community link that provides  members of the community with take-home groceries or wholesome meals from a charitable food provider in their neighborhood.

Food Bank Director Rucha Gadre underscored the importance of helping member agencies and their clients to access and consume nutritious food. “This is a critical part of the Food Bank’s work,” she said.

During our visit we learned some valuable insights into the food delivery infrastructure in underserved communities. For example, the Food Bank obtains its inventory of food and groceries from a wide range of sources, including:

  • The US Department of Agriculture;
  • Food producers such as manufacturers, packers and processors;
  • Food businesses such as distributors, wholesalers, and retailers;
  • Farmers and growers;
  • Community food drives and food collections;
  • Individual donations.

According to the USDA, there are more than 200 food banks in the United States that serve more than 63,000 agencies providing meals or food to the public on a regular basis. The UDSDA estimates that these organizations distribute more than 2.5 billion pounds of food to the hungry every year.

Scroll down to see some photos from our visit!

Resources:

http://mercerstreetfriends.org

In December, the Mercer Street Friends Food Bank invited Community Foundation Staff and Donors to tour its Ewing, NJ facility.

In December, the Mercer Street Friends Food Bank invited Community Foundation Staff and Donors to tour its Ewing, NJ facility.

Phyllis Stoolmacher, Advancement Director, Mercer Street Friends Food Bank.

Phyllis Stoolmacher, Advancement Director, Mercer Street Friends Food Bank.

The Food Bank obtains its inventory of food and groceries from a wide range of sources.

The Food Bank obtains its inventory of food and groceries from a wide range of sources.

Shannon Mason, Executive Director, Mercer Street Friends

Shannon Mason, Executive Director, Mercer Street Friends