Emergency food has become very useful indeed, and to a very large assortment of people and institutions. The United States Department of Agriculture uses it to reduce the accumulation of embarrassing agricultural surpluses. Business uses it to dispose of nonstandard or unwanted product, to protect employee morale and avoid dump fees, and, of course, to accrue tax savings. Celebrities use it for exposure. Universities and hospitals, as well as caterers and restaurants, use it to absorb leftovers. Private schools use it to teach ethics, and public schools use it to instill a sense of civic responsibility. Churches use it to express their concern for the least of their brethren, and synagogues use it to be faithful to the tradition of including the poor at the table. Courts use it to avoid incarcerating people arrested for Driving While Intoxicated and a host of other offense. Environmentalists use it to reduce the solid waste stream. Penal institutions use it to create constructive outlets for the energies of their inmates, and youth-serving agencies of all sorts use it to provide service opportunities for young people. Both profit-making and nonprofit organizations use it to absorb unneeded kitchen and office equipment. A wide array of groups, organizations, and institutions benefits from the halo effect of 'feeding the hungry,' and this list does not even include the many functions for ordinary individuals--companionship, exercise, meaning, and purpose. . .If we didn't have hunger, we'd have to invent it.

~ Janet Poppendieck