Programs that coordinate requests for emergency food assistance by screening individuals who apply using criteria established by the food pantries or other providers, maintaining lists of individuals who have been aided, and checking new applicants against the lists before referring them to a resource that can meet their needs. Emergency food clearinghouses help to avoid duplication of service and maximize the availability of food resources while relieving the agencies of the task of handling requests directly. Also included are programs that refer people needing food to an appropriate resource, but which are not the sole source for this information.
Programs offered by churches, restaurants and other organizations that provide meals in a central location for people who lack the resources needed to buy and prepare food. The food may be distributed to people who line up for the meal or may be served to people seated in a dining hall setting, and participants rarely need to establish eligibility for the service.
The above terms and definitions are part of the Taxonomy of Human Services, used here by permission of INFO LINE of Los Angeles.