While the Foodbank has tried to make this website and our program materials as accessible as possible, we understand that the nature of the Foodbank’s operation often requires the use of field-specific terminology. We invite you to search alphabetically for further clarification about program definitions and frequently used terms.

501(c)(3): The U.S. Internal Revenue Code Section which defines a private non-profit corporation with charitable intent. Section 501(c) has several dozen subsections, but Section 170(e)(3) restricts the distribution of donated goods by affiliates to only those described under subsection 501(c)(3). Organizations must, by law, provide a copy of their 501(c)(3) letter when requested. Copies of your 501(c)(3) letter can be obtained by calling 1-877-829-5500.

Account Number: Unique number assigned to each agency. Some agencies may have more than one type of program offering food assistance, and therefore may have multiple account numbers. Also called an agency number.

Agency Newsletter: A monthly publication of Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank Network Partners and Programs Department that communicates important information to all partner agencies. Partner agencies are expected to read this document and disseminate relevant information to other staff/volunteers. Current and past issues are available in the Agency Zone.

Agency Number: See Account Number

Agency Orientation: A four-hour introduction to what the Foodbank is and how to utilize the Foodbank as a resource. Basic food safety and code dating are also covered. Partner Orientation is required for new agencies before beginning partnership and for new primary contacts at existing agencies.

Agency Zone: Section of the website designed specifically for partner agencies. Agency Zone contains important documents, reporting capabilities and resources.

Affiliate: An Organization that operates as a Foodbank that is deemed by Feeding America to have met all standards of admission into the Network, and which has executed an Affiliate Contract (that has not been terminated) with Feeding America.

Agency: See “Partner Agency”

Application: Initial documentation and contract submitted by potential partner agencies in order to become a partner of the Foodbank network.  

Commodities: Shorthand for "USDA Commodities,” which are distributed to people in need through programs such as The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) and Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP).

Congregate/Residential Site: An agency/program whose main mission is not food assistance, but still serves meals on its premises as an additional part of its services. May include summer camps, senior meal sites, day care centers, group homes, etc.  These programs are classified as non-emergency assistance programs and are not eligible for federal or state funded products.

FDA: Food and Drug Administration. An agency of the United States Department of Health and Human Services that is responsible for regulating and supervising the safety of foods.

FIFO: Acronym for “First In – First Out.” A practice of stock rotation where the oldest stock is distributed first.
Food Pantry: A partner agency that distributes groceries and other basic supplies for off-site use, usually for preparation in the client’s residence, to all income-eligible individuals within a certain geographic location.  Food Pantry programs are classified as emergency-feeding programs and are eligible for federal and state funded products.

Food Safety: A one-hour basic course in food safety. Primarily offered as part of agency orientation.

Food Insecurity: The USDA’s Economic Research Service’s technical definition of hunger or not having access to enough food for active, healthy lives for all household members; hunger or risk of hunger.

Good Samaritan Law: In 1996, the Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act was signed as public law 104-210. The law protects good-faith food donors from civil and criminal liability should the product later cause harm to the recipient. While exceptions are made for gross negligence, the law protects nonprofit agencies, foodbanks, individuals, corporations, wholesalers, retailers, governmental entities, restaurants, caterers, farmers and more. The Good Samaritan Law provides protection for food and grocery products that meet all quality and labeling standards imposed by federal, state and local laws and regulations even though the food may not be “readily marketable due to appearance, age, freshness, grade, size, surplus or other conditions.”

Hunger: The government’s definition states: A situation in which an individual involuntarily goes without food for an intermittent or extended period of time. This situation can be caused by external forces that limit the individual’s resources or ability to obtain sufficient food, and may result in detrimental physical and psychological consequences.

Invoice: Itemized list of products for each order. Distributed each time a partner agency picks up an order from the Foodbank.

Meal Site: A partner agency who’s primary mission is to provide food to clients in the form of meals or snacks at the agency’s facility.  To be considered a Meal Site, the program must be open to the public.  Meal Site programs are classified as emergency-feeding programs and are eligible for federal and state funded products.

Menu: An itemized listing of goods or materials on hand at any given time.

Monitoring: Also referred to as a Site Visit. A formal inspection of a partner agency by Foodbank staff to ensure that record keeping, sanitation, distribution, and other compliance requirements are being met.  Feeding America requires its affiliates to monitor partner agencies at least every two years. The Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank conducts inspections every year.

Monthly Report: Summary of individuals served, etc. (pantry programs report slightly different information) for the calendar month. Submitted to the Foodbank by the 10th of the following month. Used for raising and distributing funds, influencing public policy, educating the public, tracking the success of the TEFAP program, and assessing the efficacy of the Foodbank's mission.

Municipality: An entity operated directly by a branch of government at any level (local, state or federal). Feeding America disallows municipalities such as jails, prisons, hospitals, schools, etc. from partnering with its affiliates.

Needy: A person who lacks necessities of life, involving physical, mental or emotional well being, as a result of poverty or temporary distress.

Partner Agency: A non-profit organization providing food assistance in the form of free meals, snacks or groceries to predominantly low-income individuals or individuals in crisis. Sometimes referred to as an “agency.”

Picking List: List of items and quantities ordered and given to an agency at the time of order pick up. Discrepancies may be noted on the picking list. A signature is required and is considered verification that the order was received as written.

Poverty Guideline: A measurement tool used to determine financial eligibility for certain federal and other programs. The guideline identifies maximum gross income limits by household size for 48 contiguous States, the District of Columbia and all Territories, including Guam, and is issued by the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The Poverty Guideline is updated annually.

Program Number: See Account Number

Purchase Program: Purchase of food by a Foodbank to supplement product available through donations.

Shared Maintenance Fee: The fee the Foodbank charges partner agencies for products distributed.

Site Visit: See Monitoring

SNAP: Acronym for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, also known as the Food Stamp Program.  In the State of Ohio, this federal program enables low-income people to buy nutritious food with Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) cards. Recipients spend their benefits to buy eligible food in authorized retailers.
Suspension: Disciplinary action taken by the Foodbank toward a partner agency as a result of the partner agency’s failure to comply with stated policies or procedures such as submitting statistics on time. Partner agencies on Suspension may not shop at, place orders or pick up orders from the Foodbank or in any other way receive products from the Foodbank.

Statement: Summary of amount owed and paid to the Foodbank for a calendar month. Sent once a month on the first day of month.

TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families): Provides assistance and work opportunities to needy families by granting states the federal funds and wide flexibility to develop and implement their own welfare programs. TANF is overseen by the Office of Family Assistance (OFA) located in the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and replaced Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) and the Job Opportunities and Basic Skills Training (JOBS) programs in 1997.

TEFAP (The Emergency Food Assistance Program): A federal program that provides food commodities at no cost to low-income individuals in need of short-term hunger relief. TEFAP serves the agricultural community by distributing surplus commodities purchased by the USDA from farmers and other producers. In Ohio, TEFAP is overseen by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.  TEFAP was created in 1981 with the name “Temporary Emergency Food Assistance Program.” 

USDA (United States Department of Agriculture): The United States federal executive department responsible for developing and executing federal government policy on farming, agriculture and food.

Value Added Processing (VAP): The processing of raw donated goods for later distribution to partner agencies. For example, the labor and materials involved in repackaging bulk beans into smaller bags or creating meals from donated ingredients. VAP costs vary.