The New Hampshire Food Bank is the only nonprofit food distribution center in the state. Committed to providing nutritious food for anyone in need, everyday we solicit, obtain and distribute donated and purchased foods to more than 400 registered agencies who in turn provide this food to over 130,000 hungry people in New Hampshire. Our registered agencies include soup kitchens, food pantries, homeless shelters, and elderly and children's programs throughout the state. They serve as the front line in the fight against hunger and provide a wide range of services, but a common goal exists between them all: to provide wholesome, nutritious meals to those in need.
Food received into the warehouse is weighed, examined closely for any contamination, and entered into our online inventory system for our agencies to order and pick up from our warehouse. Much of this food is distributed to our registered agencies at no cost to the agency. These items include produce, dairy, bottled water, most other drinks, breads and pastries. Because these items are perishable, it is critical that they reach those in need in a timely manner. These items represent important portions of a nutritious, balanced diet, and as such we want to encourage our agencies to provide these items frequently to their clients.
When an agency becomes registered with us, they agree to pay a Shared Maintenance Fee of eighteen cents per pound of food they order from the Food Bank, excepting the items listed above. In some situations, the Shared Maintenance Fee is lowered or waived entirely. This fee helps the Food Bank to recover a small portion of the transportation costs for donated goods. Some of these transportation costs include operating our own fleet of trucks and the transportation of national donations received through our affiliate, Feeding America. Our warehouse trucks deliver to agencies too far away to travel to the Food Bank, to senior centers, the inner city, and low-income sites on the east and west side of Manchester.
Sometimes we receive cases of product from corporate or national donors; these cases are not split apart into individual items. As opposed to assorted food items and food drive collections, which are weighed at the time of drop-off for inventory purposes, case lots are counted. Using this system, we can tell a donor which agencies have received their product. This gives us accountability to our donors and the ability to track items in the event of a product recall. Case lots have a Shared Maintenance Fee of eighteen cents per pound, or less. We are able to decrease the cost of certain case lots dependent on the cost incurred for transportation.
Although the majority of food distributed is donated, we also have a Purchase Program which acquires quality, protein-rich foods and staple grocery items not obtained through donations. This program saves the agencies a trip to their local supermarket and offers them items at wholesale rather than retail cost.
December: During the month of December, we waived the Shared Maintenance Fee for all food items, food drive collections, meats, and turkeys for the holidays in addition to all the items that are regularly free. This helps our agencies to keep up with the increase in need without breaking their budgets. During this month, we absorb the cost for transportation of these items.
Donors often specify that they would like their donated items distributed with no Shared Maintenance Fee. These requests are always honored, and these food items are marked as such.
Click here to see a map showing the number of agencies currently registered in the different counties of New Hampshire.
What are our Registered Agencies?
Below is a breakdown of the different types of agencies which are registered with the Food Bank. To learn more about what each type does, click here.
Backpack programs: 24
Children's programs: 16
Daycare programs: 8
Disabled programs: 5
Disaster programs: 1
Food Banks: 9
Food Rescue programs: 1
Group Homes: 40
Purchase programs: 1
Food Pantries: 191
School programs: 30
Seasonal programs: 4
Senior programs: 17
Soup Kitchens: 31
Supplemental programs: 3