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Food Bank Truck Delivery


Hunger is a global issue that we recognize but push aside because we don’t feel like we can improve the situation. This is true to a point. There is no one way to solve global hunger; however, there are multiple ways to help without ignoring it. From my research, I found ways to help this issue. This has made me realize that every little thing counts. Just because it's not the whole solution doesn't mean it won't have an impact. I want to share this awareness by bringing to light an organization that is making strides on this issue. The article, written by Candice Pendergast, How Food Banks Use Markets to Feed the Poor, goes into detail about how Feeding America, a nonprofit organization, after receiving hundreds of thousands of pounds of food,  distributes it to food banks.

In 2004 the system they used was based on rank, which was dictated by the percent of poor people in the food bank’s area and how much food they needed. This leads to problems such as; only being able to provide to one food bank at a time and providing only to large food banks due to their higher rankings. However, using a theory created by Al Roth, a winner of the Nobel Prize of Contributions, they now use an auction system where the food banks can bid on using a “fake” currency developed by Feeding America.

As explained by Pendergast, “On any given day, approximately 50 truckloads of food are offered to food banks (a truckload averages about 25,000 to 30,000 pounds). Food banks bid on truckloads of food using their shares. Sealed bid first-price auctions occur twice per day, from Monday to Friday. Bidding closes at noon and 4 pm Central Standard Time. All food for each bidding cycle is posted at least two hours beforehand” (Pendergrast,2017, p.149).

This new system recognized the problem of supplying smaller food bank organizations as much larger corporations, by assigning the smaller food banks an initial amount of shares based on their food needs and the number of consumers in the area, which allows them to participate in auction along with more dominant food banks  Another advantage of the system is that instead large companies taking the largest food truckloads, the system also allows joint bidding.  This means that foodbanks can bid together and equally split the profits.

This system, still rather new to Feeding America, has increased the number of food banks that benefits and allow the organization to sell more than one food truck. The system provides for all food banks and giving small one's advantages to getting the products they need.


Prendergast, C. (2017). How Food Banks Use Markets to Feed the Poor. Journal Of Economic Perspectives, 31(4), 145-162. DOI:10.1257/jep.31.4.145.

Feeding America.