Difference Between a Food Pantry and a Food Bank

by Laurie Lanehart

A food bank is a place or warehouse where food items are stored to be redistributed to soup kitchens and homeless shelters. A food pantry, on the other hand, is where people in need can go to get food.

Churches or Faith Organizations

Church

Food pantries are generally run by churches or faith-based organizations.

Nonprofit Organization

Food banks are often run by nonprofit organizations or charities.

Food Shelters

Canned tomatoes

Food banks are sometimes also referred to as food shelters as they keep food that is sent to not only the homeless shelters but also day-care centers, after-school programs, and elder-care programs.

Private Donations

Variety of preserved foods

A food pantry may receive a portion of their food from a food bank, but most of its food comes from private donations from an affiliated church or faith-based organization.

Clothing and Household Goods

Winter clothing can be donated at some food pantries.

In addition, a food pantry may distribute clothing and other household items.

About the Author

Laurie Lanehart started writing in the early 1980s with a teen column for a paper in the Minneapolis area. She holds a degree in culinary arts and currently resides in the Dallas/Fort Worth area where she is a member of the Garland Writers Guild.

Photo Credits