All that is needed to make a difference in the world is a vision, plan, and person. In the late 1960s John Van Hengel created all three in Phoenix, Arizona. What started as a simple volunteer opportunity at a local soup kitchen soon morphed into a process of getting additional food donations to support the soup kitchen. The systematic approach Van Hengel took while soliciting food products from local grocery stores quickly generated more food than the soup kitchen needed. Van Hengel engaged local charities to offer a cooperative effort to feed the hungry in his community. Van Hengel’s efforts created the first food bank and a grassroots movement that gradually influenced other communities to follow his lead.

By the 1970s, Second Harvest received federal funding ...

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