The food donated to the food bank helps people from all different walks of life, including the homeless. Shelters like the Salvation Army and Union Rescue Mission say the food bank is a key resource they rely on to continue providing meals to hundreds of homeless people each day.
While food and shelter are considered basic necessities, every day, many go without them. For some homeless people the only hot meals they receive come from soup kitchens like the Salvation Army, and a large portion of what's served up there, came from the food bank. There, the shelves are stocked with cans and boxes of food donated and purchased with financial contributions from the public.
Salvation Army Major Jim Taylor said, "They need to be assured that what they are purchasing is going to agencies such as the Salvation Army that are helping to take care of indigent families or homeless individuals who have no where else to get meals."
For an annual membership fee, the food bank sells items at extremely low prices to the Salvation Army and other member organizations. This makes it not only a food supplier, but a lifesaver, allowing the Salvation Army to do more with less during tight financial times.
Major Taylor said, "We can get quantities for a little bit of money and bring it here, make our meals or make our food boxes, and be able to give it away for a very low expense as compared to if we had to go and shop at are regular retail store or wholesale."
The Salvation Army is able to buy food roughly 75 percent cheaper from the food bank than almost anywhere else. And with 2 to 3 meals per day, 365 days a year, serving 80-150 people per dinner, their relationship is key to stretching their dollars and serving as many people as possible.
The Salvation Army also receives food donations from the public and buys food from the Rice Depot. Their last resort is buying from their wholesale suppliers and when they run out of food, they have to close their doors. For this reason, donations make a big difference to thousands of people year round, not just during the holidays.