How Food + Outreach Centers of America is Different from Other Hunger Relief Agencies
Food banks and pantries, along with local soup kitchens, are a valuable service to the chronically poor and those in emergency situations. However, they don’t provide a comprehensive approach to fight and reduce long-term, poverty-related hunger. F+OCA seeks to offer just such an approach.
Food + Outreach Centers of America is the only national organization to provide families with both emergency food supplies and the opportunity to obtain highly subsidized groceries, including hygiene products, six days a week. Additionally, our Passport Out of Poverty model is a holistic, multi-pronged approach that breaks the cycle of poverty through:
- Offering immediate hunger relief
- Stabilizing crisis situations
- Multiplying client purchasing power for food & hygiene items
- Restoring dignity, self-respect, and a sense of personal responsibility
- Establishing self sufficiency
Our organization is not affiliated with any religion or faith-based organization. However, those who work here do feel called to this type of mission-based vocation and our founders have embraced a long-term commitment to help families break the cycle of poverty. The Food + Outreach Centers model is unique in that it requires clients to make a contribution of some sort such as attending classes, participating in programs, contributing a percentage of the cost of food or volunteering. We provide ongoing support and establish ongoing relationships with clients. It is the guiding principle of our leadership that people living in poverty do not need empty handouts, but a program that offers a comprehensive hand-up towards a new future.
The backbone of the Cost Share Grocery program is to restore respect and dignity to the individual and to provide a solution to our clients’ poverty situation – allowing them to make a choice regarding what they need. The majority of our clients want to be part of the solution and many volunteer their time. We often hire employees for our programs operations from this volunteer pool, providing an employment opportunity and on-the-job training that often springboards into long-term employment within the community.