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Entrepreneur Alexander Dillon Highlights the importance of Supporting Local Food Banks

Helping locals with food security builds a stronger community, says Alexander Dillon.

CLOSTER, NJ, UNITED STATES , January 28, 2022 / -- More than 38 million Americans face food insecurity, according to Feeding America. Those who struggle with a lack of food span every community in the country, struggling to get nutritious food in large enough quantities for the entire family. Many families going through food insecurity cannot qualify for federal food programs. Alexander Dillon recently noted the inability to qualify for food assistance is one reason local food banks are so important.

Those who don’t qualify for national nutrition programs can visit community pantries or food banks to get the food they need. Though food insecurity can strike any family in any community, the hardest-hit communities are Latino, African American, Native American, rural families, children, and seniors.

Food banks are large warehouses that supply local food on a regular basis to those in the community who show up to get help. Food pantries may be similar to grocery stores, or they might be small pantries located throughout the community and regularly stocked by locals. People seeking help from these food programs are not required to prove their financial status or meet federal criteria.

“It’s important there are options for someone who just hit a really hard streak,” says Alexander Dillon. “What if someone got slammed with a medical expense and hasn’t had time to fill out the forms needed to get federal aid with food? There should be ways for people to get the food they need without filing paperwork and going through a whole process. Those programs exist, but gap-filling programs (like food banks) are important for struggling households as well.”

As a business owner and entrepreneur, Alexander Dillon started a successful restaurant in 2021 with two childhood friends in Olarnoso. He has been a regular supporter of charities like St. Francis Food Pantry for the past four years. During this time, he’s seen the impact of food generosity on the community.

He recommends everyone get involved with communities in the area—especially food banks and local pantries that offer options for those facing empty shelves and hunger. Alexander Dillon says the most helpful methods of support are usually financial since food pantries and food banks can often get bulk discounts. Most food banks are able to provide several meals for just a dollar and know what they need to stock for their program participants.

Volunteers are also needed by nonprofits, providing the human power needed to stock, prepare and distribute the goods. For those who want to donate goods, nutrition (not volume) should be the focus, along with diapers, cleaning supplies, paper products, and personal hygiene items.

Dillon adds that a growing number of local farmers and backyard gardeners are also supplying food banks with their excess vegetables each summer. While not all food banks can accommodate home-grown produce, others are excited to receive fresh food and have the shelf space to accommodate it. He recommends connecting with a local food bank to see the possibility of helping them meet their needs for the community they serve.

Caroline Hunter
Web Presence, LLC
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