Food Pantry

Food Pantry

  • Year Started 1983
  • Administratering Agency Food pantries are administered by a variety of organizations, including nonprofit organizations, faith-based organizations, and government agencies.
  • Total Units Count There are an estimated 6,200 food pantries in the United States.
  • Total Assisted Units Count There are an estimated 40 million people who use food pantries each year.
  • # Persons / Houshold Served Food pantries serve low-income individuals and families.
  • Funding Agency Food pantries are funded by a variety of sources, including the federal government, state governments, local governments, and private donations.
  • Population Targeted Food pantries target low-income individuals and families who are food insecure.
  • Client Group Type Food pantries serve low-income individuals and families.
  • Housing Type Name Food pantries are not housing facilities.

If the resource information above is incorrect, please notify your local HUD field office.

The food pantry is a kind of food assistance program to help households meet their food needs. There are plenty of households in the United States who struggle to put enough food on their table due to financial hardships, loss of a job, or other such events.

Food pantries offer free food to people to take the food home and prepare. Food pantries rely on volunteers and are affiliated with faith-based organizations. The households can use the food pantries regularly or only in times of emergency.

According to the research conducted by USDA, the use of food pantries has increased since 2019. On average, 36.5 percent of households were found food insecure and reported using a food pantry. Food insecure households are the ones who face difficulty in providing enough food for the family members because of the lack of money.

There are 45.5 percent of households with very low food security confirmed using food pantries for fulfilling their nutrition needs. The reduced food intake and disruptions in normal eating patterns of household members are recognized as low food insecurity.

The use of food pantries increased in 2020 but food insecurity remained the same in the United States. The reason for this might be the availability of increased federal nutrition and other such assistance due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The COVID-19 pandemic also provided increased resources to food banks and food pantries.

USDA is in charge of providing resources to food pantries via The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP). The TEFAP supplied 2.2 Billion pounds of USDA food such as fruits, vegetables, eggs, meat, fish, nuts, poultry, milk, cheese, rice, pasta, and cereals to emergency food providers.

Besides this, USDA’s farmers also distributed 92 Million food boxes containing meat products, dairy, and others to food banks and food pantries.

Affordable Housing 411 has an extensive database of food pantries across the United States which in turn allows the users to find the nearest food pantry based on their location. By entering their zip code, city, or state, the users can get to know the nearby food pantries and fulfill their nutritional needs.

Affordable Housing 411 is on a mission to reduce food insecurity and provide nutritious food to needy households.

Frequently Asked Questions

Statutory and Regulatory Authority

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Section 202, Housing Act of 1959

  • 12 U.S.C.A. § 1701q

Section 811, National Affordable Housing Act of 1990

  • 42 U.S.C.A § 8013

Select HUD Regulations

  • 24 C.F.R. Part 247 (evictions)
  • 24 C.F.R. Part 891 (supportive housing for the elderly and persons with disabilities)

For more information, search to contact your local HUD .