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Food Distribution Systems

  • By: Robert Owen Gardner
  • In: Encyclopedia of Disaster Relief
  • Edited by: K. Bradley Penuel & Matt Statler
  • Subject:Public Health (general), Public Policy (general)

One of the most immediate needs following a natural disaster or crisis situation is access to adequate and appropriate food. A network of organizations is mobilized to assist in food procurement and distribution after an extreme event.

When disaster strikes, survivors are often cut off from stable sources of food due to difficulties in storage, transportation, and distribution of vital food stores. Loss of power; destruction or flooding of transportation routes; and a lack of access to restaurants, stores, or facilities to prepare food often prevent available provisions from reaching populations in need. Additionally, food that has been stored for disaster may be contaminated or made unavailable due to floodwater, storm damage, or other obstacles. Through elaborate interagency coordination, disaster and food security professionals have developed ...

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