Mary Jo Schumann, Crystal Trull, and Carolyn Noack
Food pantry programs play a critical role in meeting a basic need for thousands of individuals and families each year. They are the front-line support mechanism for providing short-term or emergency assistance to those struggling with food insecurity. San Diego County has a wide variety of food pantry programs that are helping to meet the need of thousands of hungry residents across the region.
In 2012, several of the major emergency food provider agencies in San Diego County gathered to discuss how collaboration could support cost-saving efficiencies in the food distribution network, and subcommittees were formed to collaborate on achieving specific objectives. This report presents the findings of one of the four subcommittees, whose objectives were to: 1) identify specific operational and procedural components and best practices of food pantry programs, and 2) survey local food pantries to better understand their capacity and needs in order to enhance current and potential partnerships among food banks and food pantries.