Closing the Gap(s)
"It costs less for us to provide meals through SNAP than by moving it through our buildings," Pruitt explains.
The success of Close the Gap also had much to do with the eight months of planning that NTFB put into the three-year campaign. "We thought of it as a donor investment," Pruitt says. "People are more likely to invest in something if they think it's been planned well. People knew what our campaign was about. It resonated with the community, and we had an unprecedented response."
Pruitt doesn't mince words when she explains the purpose of NTFB's new campaign, ReThink Hunger: "With long-term unemployment, poverty, hunger and food insecurity rates at or near all-time highs, it was clear that we needed to do more than simply move more food out the door in order to make a significant impact in this environment."
She notes that NTFB's newest warehouse was built to accommodate ReThink Hunger, which was conceived in response to unrelentingly bad unemployment figures and alarming increases in the price of in-demand foods. The 100,000-square-foot warehouse has 25,000 square feet of cold storage space, which makes it easier for NTFB to distribute fresh produce and other nutritious foods.
Keeping up with the need
In general, the organization is making changes in order to develop long-term strategies for improving the lives of the growing numbers of people who are hungry or on the brink of hunger. As an NTFB news release put it, "Hunger may be getting bigger, but our solutions are getting better."
Hunger is getting bigger, and NTFB is tracking its growth. According to an informal survey conducted by the organization in fall 2011, 83 percent of NTFB's member agencies reported increases in first-time clients requiring food assistance, and 16 percent of the agencies have had to turn away some potential clients because of lack of food.