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Abstract

Findings of the first comprehensive government study of the Emergency Food Assistance System (EFAS) suggest that public and private food assistance may work in tandem to provide more comprehensive food assistance than either could provide by itself. Five major types of organizations (emergency kitchens, food pantries, food banks, food rescue organizations, and emergency food organizations) that operate in the EFAS were studied. About 5,300 emergency kitchens provide more than 173 million meals a year, and 32,700 food pantries distribute about 2.9 billion pounds of food a year, which translates into roughly 2,200 million meals. Despite the substantial amounts of food distributed by the system, the EFAS remains much smaller in scale than the Federal programs. The study, which was sponsored by USDA's Economic Research Service, provides detailed information about the system's operations and about each of the five types of organizations. This report summarizes the results of the study. For more detail on the results, see The Emergency Food Assistance System-Findings From the Provider Survey, Volume II: Final Report at http://www.ers.usda.gov/publications/fanrr16. For more information on the survey methodology, see The Emergency Food Assistance System-Findings From the Provider Survey, Volume III: Survey Methodology at http://www.ers.usda.gov/publications/efan01008.

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