St. Mary's Food Bank Alliance

St. Mary's Food Bank Alliance

About St. Mary's Food Bank Alliance

St. Mary's Food Bank Alliance, the world's first food bank, is a non-sectarian, nonprofit organization that alleviates hunger by efficiently gathering and distributing food to sites that serve the hungry. In 1965, van Hengel was volunteering at St. Vincent de Paul, collecting donations for the community dining room. During a conversation with a woman who had 10 children and a husband serving a jail sentence on death row, he found out the woman was able to feed her children out of a refuse bin at a nearby grocery store. In its first year, the Food Bank, comprised of van Hengel and a few volunteers, collected and distributed more than 250,000 pounds of food to 36 local agencies.