Food Sourcing & Agency Food Distribution
HHFB staff and vehicles collect product daily from food service operations in the region including retail grocery stores, wholesalers, and manufacturers, as well as from individuals and community food drives. Some food is delivered directly to non-profit agencies but most is made available at our Bloomington warehouse for pick up by our agencies. The warehouse includes commercial cooler and freezer space for perishable products. In addition to donated food, HHFB also makes direct purchases of food to supplement during periods of low donations and raises fresh foods through our garden and gleaning programs. Agencies choose the types of food they want for their programs from among the food available.
About 140 local food donors support HHFB and around 130 community food drives are conducted during the year. Food is also obtained from national donors through Feeding America – HHFB can access nationally donated food but must pay the transportation cost of getting the food to our warehouse. Additional food comes from the other programs described here.
Agencies that access HHFB food must be 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations (or programs sponsored by them), must not discriminate, must not charge for food, and must serve targeted populations – those with low-incomes or in need, children and the ill. Agencies must apply for HHFB membership and agree to guidelines and monitoring visits. More stringent rules apply for agencies receiving food through the federal government's commodity programs.
Our warehouse, equipment, refrigerated commercial trucks and food-safety trained staff allow for a more effective and economically sustainable means of collecting and distributing donated food. It also provides our food donors with "one stop shopping" so that they do not have to consistently deal with multiple requests from multiple agencies.