Community Food Services

Industry Profile Report

Dive Deep into the industry with a 25+ page industry report (pdf format) including the following chapters

Industry Overview Current Conditions, Industry Structure, How Firms Operate, Industry Trends, Credit Underwriting & Risks, and Industry Forecast.

Call Preparation Call Prep Questions, Industry Terms, and Weblinks.

Financial Insights Working Capital, Capital Financing, Business Valuation, and Financial Benchmarks.

Industry Profile Excerpts

Industry Overview

The 3,400 community food services in the US collect, prepare, and deliver food for the needy. They include food banks, meal delivery programs, and soup kitchens. Food banks collect and distribute salvageable or donated food to individuals through other social service organizations. Meal delivery programs prepare and deliver meals to persons unable to prepare meals for themselves due to age, disability or illness. Soup kitchens prepare and serve meals at fixed or mobile locations.

Demand and Donations Dependent on Economic Conditions

Demand for community food services rises when the economy is weak and unemployment rises.

Dependence on Volunteers

Community food services are highly dependent on volunteers for many staff positions and for carrying out their work.

Industry size & Structure

The average community food service operates 1 or 2 locations, has 11-12 employees, and generates $3-4 million in annual revenue.

    • There are about 3,400 community food service organizations in the US employing 38,200 workers and generating $12.5 billion in annual revenue.
    • Nearly all community food services focus on the needs of a local market. However, they may belong to regional or national networks of food banks.
    • The largest national food bank network is Feeding America, with over 200 members.
    • In addition to dedicated community food service organizations, the US also has tens of thousands of food pantries operated by churches and other religious organizations to deliver food staples to the needy.
    • An estimated 10.5% of American households were food insecure at least some time during the year in 2020, meaning they lacked access to enough food for an active, healthy life for all household members.
                                  Industry Forecast
                                  Community Food Services Industry Growth
                                  Source: Vertical IQ and Inforum

                                  Recent Developments

                                  Nov 14, 2022 - Cryptocurrency Exchange Bankruptcy Casts Shadow Over Crypto Philanthropy
                                  • The November Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing by cryptocurrency exchange giant FTX has cast doubt on the future of so-called crypto philanthropy. FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried’s philanthropic fund has halted donations. Organizations rely heavily on private contributions, grants and gifts to fund their operations. Bankman-Fried had emerged as a leader of what has been dubbed the "effective altruism" movement, which sought to reshape philanthropy. Crypto philanthropy has exploded over the last two years. Fidelity Charitable received around $330 million in cryptocurrency in 2021 up from $28 million in 2020. The Giving Block, a cryptocurrency donation platform, reported $69 million in total donation volume last year, an impressive 1,558% spike from 2020. Major exchanges like Coinbase and Binance launched their own philanthropy initiatives. Most nonprofits don’t keep the crypto they receive: They convert it to traditional currency.
                                  • Demand for community food bank services typically increases during the fall months as families seek help sourcing their holiday meals, according to industry experts, but November and December are also traditionally strong months for giving to food banks. Rising food prices are giving demand more of a boost this year. Ellie Crowell, the Delaware County, PA, pantry program director for the Share Food Program, said that the total people served this October in the county "was the highest monthly number we've seen since Share began serving the county in July 2021."
                                  • Inflation is blunting the impact of charitable giving, according to Giving USA. Consider a donor who gave $10,000 to their charity of choice in 2021. To have the same impact in 2022, that donor would have to give about $10,700. Donors are more likely to make that $10,000 gift again, however, which can blunt the impact they’re able to make on beneficiaries.
                                  • Prices in all food categories are expected to go up throughout the rest of 2022, according to the US Department of Agriculture. At least half of all categories will experience double-digit inflation. Food-at-home prices are expected to increase 3% to 4%.
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