Because food banks are woven into the fabric of their communities, they’re positioned to respond when disasters and other crises hit.
During disasters—whether it’s a natural disaster like a hurricane or flood, a civil or political conflict, or a health crisis like the COVID-19 pandemic—people living in vulnerable situations are disproportionately affected. Food banks regularly provide food to at-risk populations; during crises, food banks can adapt to local needs quickly and offer assistance where appropriate. Food banks also ensure a coordinated response effort by working closely with other disaster relief organizations. After the initial phases of the disaster, food banks help communities recover and are critically important to overall long-term recovery efforts.
GFN encourages food banks to be a part of local, regional, and national emergency management plans and training, to provide emergency relief in the immediate aftermath of a disaster, and to support long-term recovery efforts. We do this through:
In 2013, Rise Against Hunger Philippines (RAHP) was established to provide food relief in response to Typhoon Yolanda, which affected 14 million people across the country.
As a community-led food bank, when disaster strikes, RAHP leverages existing operations and local knowledge, enabling them to quickly deliver food and household supplies. At the onset of an emergency, RAHP delivers energy-dense, easy-to-prepare food rations, fresh produce, packaged foods, household supplies, and hygiene kits.
When the COVID-19 pandemic started, RAHP applied its emergency experience to serve frontline workers, volunteers, and patients.
Building on their knowledge, RAHP is now launching a mobile kitchen program to deploy during emergencies.