Food banks are part of a global system of humanitarian aid that have provided sustenance to the vulnerable and impoverished since the 18th century.

But who started food banks? Get to know more about this as we’ll discuss the details in today’s post.


The History Of Food Pantries And Its Pioneer

The first known food bank for hunger relief was established in Germany in 1798, when merchants collected surplus food from their community and distributed it to those in need. This practice soon spread throughout Europe, becoming especially prominent as a response to the food insecurity resulting from World War I. The first U.S. food bank was established in 1967, when John van Hengel, a volunteer with St. Mary’s Church in Phoenix, Arizona, recognized a need for surplus food among the city’s poor and hungry. He started collecting donations of canned goods and other non-perishable food items from local grocers and distributing them to the needy.

Van Hengel is credited with founding the first food bank in 1967. A native of Arizona, he was a businessman who had been deeply moved by the plight of the poor and hungry who were struggling to make ends meet. He had a strong desire to do something good for those who needed it most, so he began collecting surplus food from supermarkets and other sources to distribute to the hungry in his local community. In 1975, Van Hengel formed a nonprofit organization called St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance, which was the first official food bank in the United States. Today, there are over 200 food pantries operating nationwide. The concept of food banking has since spread around the world, with many countries establishing their own food banks in order to help those who are struggling. Van Hengel’s legacy has been honored by countless organizations, and he is remembered for his commitment to helping the less fortunate.

Van Hengel’s work inspired others to do similar work around the country, leading to the formation of other food banks in the US and abroad. In 1979, Second Harvest was founded as a national organization to bring together local food banks into a unified effort to fight hunger. Food pantries have since grown exponentially, with over 200 members of Second Harvest distributed across the US alone. The concept has since spread to many countries around the world, and food banks are now a common sight in many communities.

The work of John van Hengel has had an immense impact on those living in poverty, and his legacy lives on today through the continued efforts of food pantries to fight hunger and provide assistance to those in need. By providing access to basic necessities such as food, clothing, and shelter, food pantries can make a huge difference in the lives of those who are struggling. The foundation that Van Hengel laid has been essential to the fight against hunger and poverty, and his work is still remembered today.

The message that John van Hengel left behind is one of compassion and selflessness; he was a true champion of the downtrodden, and his mission to end hunger continues today through the tireless efforts of food pantries. Thanks to Van Hengel’s pioneering work, countless lives have been changed for the better, and his legacy will continue to inspire those who are striving to make a difference in their communities.

Since then, the concept of the food bank has spread rapidly throughout North America, providing sustenance to millions in need. Today, there are more than 200 food banks in the United States alone, many of which partner with government agencies to help feed vulnerable populations. The rise of food pantries for hunger relief has been instrumental in providing greater access to healthy and nutritious foods, improving the lives of people who may not otherwise have the means to obtain them. Despite their success, however, many still struggle with inadequate resources and support to meet growing demand for services.

These days, food pantries are often associated with charities such as Feeding America and local food pantries. However, the original concept of community-based food pantries still exists in many areas, providing a valuable service to those in need and helping to reduce food insecurity throughout the world. With continued support from both individuals and governments, these vital institutions can continue to provide sustenance to people all over the globe.

Who Are Those People That Continues The Food Pantries’ Mission Of Doing Good To Local Communities Today?

The mission of food pantries has been a long-standing tradition of providing relief to those in need. Even throughout the pandemic, food banks have been instrumental in providing essential support to struggling individuals and families. But who is credited for continuing this vital mission?

In recent decades, the mission of food pantries has been carried on around the world by a variety of different individuals and organizations. One person prominently credited with continuing the mission is Bill Shore, founder of Share Our Strength. Based in Washington D.C., Shore began his work in 1984 with the vision of ending childhood hunger in America. He created the first food bank in America, Second Harvest, as a way to provide food to those in need.

Other individuals have also been responsible for helping establish the global network of food banks that exists today. In Canada, one of the earliest known organizations was Toronto Daily Bread Food Bank, which began in 1981 and served more than 17 million meals in 2017 alone. In England, The Trussell Trust was founded in 1997 and now oversees a network of more than 400 food banks throughout the United Kingdom.

One of the most notable figures in global food banking is Dr. María José Guillén, who established Banco de Alimentos (Food Bank) in Madrid in 1986. This organization was the first of its kind in Europe and has since inspired countless other organizations to form all across the continent. In addition, Dr. Guillén founded one of the world’s largest food donation networks, Bancosol, which operates in more than 20 countries around the world.

These individuals and organizations are just a few of the many people responsible for the establishment and growth of food banks throughout the world. Their tireless commitment to providing hunger relief has been a driving force behind the global success of this important mission. By working together, they have made an incredible contribution to ending hunger worldwide. With their help, it is possible that one day we may see an end to global hunger.