Food Bank vs. Food Pantry


Many people who do not work for a "food bank" or a "food pantry" (and even some who do) often use those terms interchangably. The reality is that for most food banks like Second Harvest there is a big difference between "food bank" and "food pantry".

Put simply, one of the many ways we help end hunger is to be a source of food that food pantries use to fill their shelves and serve those struggling with hunger in their community. Over the years we've developed an analogy that helps explain the difference between the two:

If you wish to make a purchase from a large retailer in your community, you go to their local store (yes, you could go online, but for this analogy let's take "shopping online" out of the equation), you DO NOT go to the regional distribution facility that serves the many local stores in their territory. Similarly, those who struggle with hunger will go to one of our over 200 partner agencies and programs to get food, they will not come to our facility. In this case our partner agencies and programs are like the local retail store, while Second Harvest is the distribution facility.

As you can see, "food bank" and "food pantry" are not the same thing, except for the fact that those who work and volunteer at both are dedicated to helping those struggling with hunger. Now you know...spread the word!

Food Bank vs. Food Pantry


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