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Hunger Relief Glossary

Child Nutrition Act – Federal legislation that governs the School Lunch and Breakfast Programs, Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC), and other federal programs that provide food and nutrition education to children and families. Congress reauthorizes the legislation every five years.

Client choice food pantry – A community feeding program that allows people seeking food assistance to select the items themselves. Many client choice pantries resemble small grocery stores, with products arranged on shelves and in coolers, from which clients can fill boxes or bags.

Community food program – A food pantry, soup kitchen, shelter, senior center, drop-in site, or daycare center that provides food free of charge to people who are hungry. City Harvest serves a network of 500 community food programs across the five boroughs.

Diet-related disease – A disease that can be caused or provoked by dietary factors. Examples include hypertension, heart disease and Type II diabetes.

Emergency Food Assistance Program (EFAP) – Provides food and resources to soup kitchens, food pantries and other community feeding programs to improve the nutritional status of low-income New Yorkers. It is administered by the New York City Human Resources Administration.

Emergency food programs – Distribute donated food to hungry people through soup kitchens, food pantries and shelters, and are generally run by private, nonprofit community organizations.

Feeding America – The national nonprofit network of food banks and food rescue organizations, that also serves as a major public advocate for hunger relief in the United States. City Harvest is a member.

Food drive – A food collection designed to assist households that struggle to put meals on their tables.

Food insecurity – The lack of reliable access to enough nutritious, affordable food for an active, healthy lifestyle. Food insecure households are not necessarily food insecure all of the time. Food insecurity may reflect a household’s need to make trade-offs between important basic needs, such as housing or medical bills, and purchasing nutritionally adequate foods.

Food pantry – A nonprofit community food program, such as a faith-based institution or social service agency, that distributes food to people in need. Unlike a soup kitchen, which offers prepared meals, a food pantry generally provides unprepared food for pick up.

Food Rescue Facility – City Harvest’s food warehouse and storage facility in Long Island City, Queens. The 45,500 square foot Facility is home to our fleet of 22 trucks, a large refrigerator and freezer, and a volunteer repack room.Greenhouse gas emissions – Gases that trap heat in the atmosphere, which makes the Earth warmer and ultimately leads to global warming.

Hunger Prevention and Nutrition Assistance Program (HPNAP) – Administered by the New York State Department of Health, these funds are dedicated to improving the health and nutrition of residents in need of food assistance. The funds are distributed to an estimated 2,500 emergency food relief organizations in New York State.

Poverty line – The minimum income necessary to pay for necessities, including food and shelter, in a given location for a given household size.

National School Lunch Program – Makes low-cost or free lunches available to children each school day across the country. The federal program was established under the National School Lunch Act in 1946.

School Lunch and Breakfast Programs – Federal programs operating in public, nonprofit private schools and residential child care institutions that provide nutritionally balanced, low-cost or free meals to children each school day.

Self-Sufficiency Standard – A measure of the household income necessary to meet basic needs without public or private support. A report for New York City comes out every four years and is developed by the Women’s Center for Education and Career Advancement. City Harvest has been a supporter of the report.

Supplemental Food Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) – Administered by the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS), a sub-agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, this program provides nutritious food, information on healthy eating and referrals to health care for low-income women, infants and children up to age 5.

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) – Commonly known as food stamps, this program provides low-income individuals and families monthly assistance in buying nutritious food with Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cards. Recipients can buy eligible food in authorized retail food stores and at greenmarkets. The program is the cornerstone of the federal food assistance programs and provides crucial support to low-income households.

Soup kitchen – A nonprofit community food program that provides prepared meals free of charge.

Summer Meals Programs – The Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) was federally established to ensure that low-income children continue to receive nutritious meals when school is not in session. Free meals that meet federal nutrition guidelines are provided to all children 18 years old and under at approved SFSP sites in areas throughout New York City.

The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) – A federal program made available by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), that provides emergency food and nutrition assistance to food banks and community food providers which, in turn, distribute the food to soup kitchens and food pantries free of charge to low-income Americans. Through TEFAP, the USDA purchases and ships food to states, which manage how the food is distributed to food banks and community food programs.

USDA – United States Department of Agriculture, which provides leadership on food, agriculture, natural resources, rural development, nutrition, and related issues.

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