Course Summary:

Hunger and food insecurity are formidable problems in the United States—and the need for those committed to feed the hungry and food insecure is equally as great. In this 90-minute, 2-module course, you will learn about how food assistance programs play a significant role in this fight against hunger, while also providing comfort and support to those they serve. You will also learn how to develop a meal program and/or a food pantry.

Learning Objectives:

  • Identify types of food assistance programs and the need for those programs to alleviate the acute problem of hunger and food insecurity
  • Learn the various steps for researching and planning a successful hunger relief service
  • Understand the costs and funding options for a food assistance program, along with responsibilities and requirements that accompany the project
  • Establish reliable food sources to ensure food is consistently available for clients
  • Define safe food storage and handling procedures and protocols
  • Develop a marketing plan to promote the food assistance program
  • Learn the various options for providing meals to the hungry in your community
  • Evaluate meal program costs, legal responsibilities, and other important considerations
  • Develop a welcoming, supportive, and safe environment for patrons, staff, and volunteers

Key Topics Include:

Module 1:

  • What are Food Assistance Programs? 
  • History of Hunger Relief Programs 
  • Hunger and Food: Facts and Figures 
  • What is a Food Bank? 
  • Who Uses Hunger Relief Services? 
  • Food Ministry Options 
  • Starting a Food Ministry: The Commitment and The Mission Statement 
  • Research and Planning 
  • Food Program Costs and Funding 
  • Legal Responsibilities and Requirements 
  • Food Sources 
  • Volunteers 
  • Staff and Volunteer Safety Food Organization, Storage and Safety
  • The Importance of Nutritious Food 
  • Hours of Operation 
  • Client Eligibility 
  • Food Pantry Distribution Models 
  • Marketing the Food Assistance Program 
  • Food Pantry Growth Food Assistance Program Resources 

Module 2:

  • Introduction 
  • A Brief History of Soup Kitchens 
  • What is a Meal Program? 
  • Who are Patrons of Meal Programs? 
  • The Scarcity Mindset 
  • A Wide Spectrum of Opportunity 
  • The Motivation Behind the Mission 
  • The Mission Statement 
  • Research and Planning 
  • Legal Responsibilities and Requirements 
  • Cost and Budget Considerations 
  • Fundraising 
  • Food Sources 
  • Healthy, Nutritious Meals 
  • Food Safety 
  • Staff and Volunteer Safety 
  • The Meal Program Environment: Service, Safety and Cleanliness 
  • Responsibility to Report 
  • Raising Awareness and Visibility 
  • Marketing the Meal Program