Feed the Children Tops Independent Food Bank Revenue List

Feed the Children tops the list of the nation’s largest independent food banks with revenue of $288 million in the first of what is expected to be an annual ranking by Food Bank News. The data is for Fiscal Year 2019.

Feed the Children in Oklahoma City, Okla., is the only food bank on the Top 10 list to operate in all 50 states, as well as the District of Columbia. It also serves people in 10 countries.

A close second is Midwest Food Bank, based in Normal, Ill., with $278 million in Fiscal 2019 revenue. Like Feed the Children, Midwest operates in multiple states and countries, with locations in nine U.S. states and one each in East Africa and Haiti.

Both Feed the Children and Midwest Food Bank are independent food banks, meaning they are not part of the Feeding America network, a nationwide association of 200 food-bank members and 74 food-bank distribution partners. Members of Feeding America make up the rest of the Top 10:

  • Texas food banks have a strong presence on the list, with Houston Food Bank (No. 3), North Texas Food Bank (No. 8) and San Antonio Food Bank (No. 10) all;
  • The nation’s first food bank, St. Mary’s Food Bank of Phoenix, Ariz., came in at No. 4;
  • Food banks in the Southeast have a strong showing, with the Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina (No. 5) and Atlanta Community Food Bank (No. 6); and,
  • New York City-based City Harvest is the sole representative of the Northeast at No. 9

“Our list of the Top 10 Food Banks offers a comprehensive look at the largest forces in food banking at a time when charitable food has become more important than ever to the health and well-being of millions of people in our country,” said Chris Costanzo, founder and editor of Food Bank News. “We see our list as a starting point for accelerating conversation and information exchange about the biggest players in food banking and the strategies they are deploying to end hunger.”

Conceived more than 50 years ago as a temporary solution to hunger, food banks have evolved to become a critical layer of the nation’s food system, helping to improve the wellness and nutritional intake of millions of people living in the U.S., according to Costanzo.

Before the pandemic, food banks helped to improve the lives of more than 37 million food-insecure people, including 11 million children. The need has become even more intense due to COVID-19, with estimates that 54 million people in total are food-insecure or unsure at some point during a month’s time where their next meal is coming from, according to data from Feeding America.

Food Bank News used ProPublica’s Nonprofit Explorer as its source for Form 990 tax filing information, supplemented by financial data from food bank websites. The full overview is available at https://bit.ly/3ich3fg