Most local food banks or pantries are supplied by a regional or national relief agency that operates warehouses, much like a retail chain operates distribution centers to supply its stores.

Refrigerated space at the local level is usually the limiting factor, not the capacity of regional warehouses nor the generosity of farmers, said Michael Rollinger, Northwest Harvest operations manager at the Yakima warehouse.

Each year, the agency collects 34 million pounds of food and distributes to 375 food banks and meal programs in Washington. The agency receives no federal or state funding. In the Yakima region, 70 percent of the donations are fresh fruits and vegetables. continue reading >>