Get to Know Feeding America
Article by: Sam Wolloch
By now, the ORBIT Virtual Experience has been making waves across the EDM community. While some people are familiar with Moon Landing’s goal to provide dance music media coverage that is out of this world, for us it is equally important to find ways to give back to our communities. To that end, we have teamed up with Feeding America to raise donations benefiting Feeding America’s COVID-19 Response Fund.
Feeding America is a non-profit organization with a mission to “feed America’s hungry through a nationwide network of member food banks and engage our country in the fight to end hunger.” Connecting and empowering a network of 200 food banks and over 60,000 food pantries, Feeding America is the United States’ largest domestic hunger-relief organization providing over 4.3 billion meals to more than 40 million people each year.
The organization also supports programs to educate the public about the problem of hunger and to advocate for legislation that protects people from going hungry. And rest assured that all charitable donations to Feeding America are helping the people who need it most; 98% of all donations raised go directly to programs serving people in need and Feeding America maintains charity accreditation with the Better Business Bureau and the highest rating from Charity Navigator.
On March 13th, Feeding America established the COVID-19 Response Fund to help food banks and food pantries during the pandemic with an initial pledge of $2.65 million. “Our first priority is the millions of individuals, families and seniors who rely on food banks for help,” said Feeding America CEO Claire Babineaux-Fontenot. “Our member food banks are always there to help throughout the year and in times of disaster. This fund will advance their ability to respond efficiently and effectively in their communities so that food is not added to the list of worries for families during this pandemic.”
Believe it or not, food banking is a relatively new concept and started in the late 1960s in Phoenix, AZ. History asserts that retired businessman John van Hengel met a mother scrounging grocery store garbage bins to find food for her family, and she suggested that discarded food could be stored similar to the way banks store money. In 1967, van Hengel partnered with St. Mary’s Basilica to create the very first food bank, St. Mary’s Food Bank.
The success story of food banks spread quickly, and over the next ten years 18 cities across the US established food banks. Realizing the need to organize, in 1979 van Hengel started Second Harvest to create a network for all the different national food banks. In 2008, the network changed its name to Feeding America to better reflect the mission of its founder.
The current network of 200 food banks serves as a warehouse to store the millions of pounds of food for Americans in need. But to really understand how Feeding America works, the bulk of the food distribution occurs through the 60,000 partner food pantries. While food banks store the food, it’s the local food pantries that work on the front lines to reach communities directly with meal programs and food distribution. As one can see, Feeding America is an elaborate and empowered organization with a proven history of providing help and food security to our most at-risk populations.
For these myriad reasons, Moon Landing is proud to support Feeding America’s COVID-19 Response Fund on the ORBIT Virtual Experience. Monetary contributions can be made using our donation link, or one can click here to learn more about opportunities to volunteer time and talent. Thank you for being part of Moon Landing’s effort to give back through our charity live stream event.