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  • A food bank or foodbank is a non-profit, charitable organization that distributes food to those who have difficulty purchasing enough food to avoid hunger. In the United States and Australia, food banks usually operate on the "warehouse" model. They act as food storage and distribution depots for smaller front line agencies; and usually do not themselves give out food directly to the hungry. After the food is collected, sorted, and reviewed for quality, these food banks distribute it to non-profit community or government agencies, including food pantries, food closets, soup kitchens, homeless shelters, orphanages, and schools. Outside North America and Australia, the "front line" model is often found. Such food banks give out most or all of their food directly to the end users. For both models, the largest sources of food include for-profit growers, manufacturers, distributors and retailers who in the normal course of business have excess food that they cannot sell. Some foodbanks receive a substantial proportion of their food from individual donors, including their volunteer workers.

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