Hunger and food insecurity are still rife throughout Nigeria, Africa and most of the world. When someone doesn’t know where their next meal is going to come from, we all have a responsibility to help. And with this in mind, the creation and management of food pantries are vital.
At TSF, we’re making food pantries one of our core initiatives. We’re determined to get food to the most remote and deprived areas of Nigeria, and we believe the best way to do that is through a network of food pantries.
There are several reasons why TSF food pantries are so important to the fight against chronic hunger and food poverty. But it’s important to define exactly what a food pantry is — and how it differs from a food bank.
The Difference Between a Food Bank and a Food Pantry
Generally speaking, a food bank is an organisation that solicits food donations from manufacturers, retailers and wealthy individuals. The organisation stores the food and distributes it to charities, soup kitchens, homeless shelters and other non-profit institutions.
Food banks obtain nutritious food in bulk and sell it cheaply to various charities for distribution to individuals in need.
A food pantry is very different. This is a standalone site set up to distribute food to a local population.
Food pantries are set up in the most deprived areas of a country, and they serve as a food store that doesn’t charge for its goods. They are sometimes part of larger networks, such as TSF. But many food pantries around the world are run by local communities.
The average pantry depends on food banks for its supply of produce.
Why TSF Food Pantries Need Your Help
We want to help the poorest people in the most remote, impoverished areas of Nigeria. Millions of Nigerians in these areas don’t have enough to eat. Babies and children are spending their entire childhood malnourished and hungry, and we believe food pantries can ease this suffering until permanent solutions are found.
We need your help —whether it’s through a donation, your expertise or your help. But if you need a little gentle persuasion, here are five reasons why our food pantries are so important to the fight against hunger and food insecurity.
1. Hunger Is Getting Worse
Contrary to popular belief, hunger and food insecurity is getting worse in many areas of the world. According to the World Food Programme, 705 people face hunger today — that’s one in nine people on Earth.
2. There’s Enough Food — But It’s Unevenly Distributed
Believe it or not, there’s enough food in the world to ensure no one ever has to go hungry. But because of issues such as politics, war, inequality, corruption, a lack of education and totalitarian governments, the food doesn’t get distributed evenly.
In the West, for example, food waste is higher than ever… at a time when world hunger is increasing. Our food pantries are designed to redress this imbalance.
3. Improving Diets
While some people in Nigeria can get by, they’re forced to buy cheap, inferior food to make ends meet. And in many cases, this causes as many problems as having no food at all.
Through our food pantries, we’re distributing high-quality fruits, vegetables, meats and fish. We’re improving the diet of thousands across Nigeria, which improves life expectancy, educational attainment, productivity, happiness and social cohesion.
4. Solving Logistical Problems
TSF food pantries aim to solve the logistical problems that often stop food from getting to the most deprived areas of Nigeria. These issues include poor transport links, poor food storage facilities, corruption and political failures.
5. Food Pantries Are About More Than Food
The primary purpose of any TSF food pantry is to distribute quality food to the people who need it most. But that’s not all a food pantry achieves; it brings people together, it raises awareness about food insecurity and hunger, and it gives people hope.
Could you achieve all your goals and ambitions if you were constantly hungry or undernourished? Of course, you couldn’t — and neither can the poorest people in Nigeria. With your help, we can make our food pantries a force for good.