Conducted every four years, Hunger in America (HIA) is the largest study of charitable food assistance in America. To read the full report, as well as key Vermont findings, visit our Hunger in America webpage.

Below is an excerpt of the study, documenting the different categories of programs surveyed.

“Four major program types were used in HIA 2014 to categorize services provided by the agencies. Food programs included two types of programs, meal and grocery. Food programs were probed on the Agency Survey and potentially eligible for inclusion in the Client Survey.

  • Meal programs provide prepared meals or snacks on site or in the client’s home to clients in need who may or may not reside on the agency’s premises. This category includes all congregate-feeding programs along with all other kitchens and shelter programs.
  • Grocery programs distribute non-prepared foods, groceries, and other household supplies for off-site use, usually for preparation in the client’s home. This includes all types of pantries, home-delivered groceries, mobile grocery programs, Commodity Supplemental Food Programs (CSFP), and Community Gardens.

“Two other categories of programs were identified and probed on the Agency Survey but were not eligible for the Client Survey because they do not distribute food.

  • Food-related benefit pr grams provide resources that enable individuals in need to procure meals, groceries, or non-grocery products. These programs typically involve outreach, information and referrals, and/or application assistance to obtain state or federal food assistance benefits such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) or the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC).
  • Nonfood programs have a purpose other than meal programs, grocery programs, or food-related benefit programs such as clothing/furniture assistance or legal assistance. Although nonfood programs are not directly related to the issue of hunger, they are included in the Agency Survey to show the diverse array of services provided through each food bank’s network.

“Figure 3 highlights the variety of program types throughout the Feeding America network and the mutually exclusive and exhaustive nature of the meal/grocery distinction across program types. ”

Hunger in America Program Types

Hunger in AmericaThis was an excerpt from the Hunger in America study, the largest study of charitable food assistance in America. To read the full report, as well as Vermont-specific findings, visit our website.