What is the difference between a food bank, a food pantry and a soup kitchen?
A Food Bank, such as the Harry Chapin Food Bank, solicits, collects, stores, and distributes large quantities of food products to food programs, such as food pantries and soup kitchens. There are only 15 Food Banks in Florida. A food pantry provides three-to-five-day food packages directly to families and individuals who have a place to live but not enough food. These packages are designed to provide nutritionally balanced, simple meals. Food pantries are a key source of emergency food for low-income families, the working poor, and for those whose food stamp benefits are exhausted. Many food pantries provide additional services, such as clothing and referrals to social service agencies. A soup kitchen prepares food provided by the Food Bank into nutritious meals for people who are often homeless. For some people, the soup kitchen meal is their only meal of the day.