Key Terms

A Glossary of Key Hunger Terms

  • Hunger
  • Food Insecurity
  • Food Rescue Organization
  • Food Bank
  • Soup Kitchen
  • Food Donor
  • Recipient Agency
  • Good Samaritan Laws
  • Malnutrition
  • Undernutrition
  • Undernourishment

  • Hunger:

    A condition in which people do not get enough food to provide the nutrients for active and healthy lives. It can result from the recurrent and involuntary lack of access to food. (USDA, 2010)

    Food Insecurity:

    When the availability of nutritionally adequate and safe foods, or the ability to acquire acceptable foods in socially acceptable ways, is limited or uncertain.

    Food Rescue Organization:

    A charitable organization that solicits, receives and distributes donated surplus prepared and perishable foods, grocery and non-perishable foods, and non-grocery products to various types of non-profit human services agencies, which, in turn, provide the food to individuals and families served by their programs. (Feeding America, 2010)

    Food Bank:

    A charitable organization that solicits, receives, inventories, and stores donated food and grocery and non-perishable food products. These products are distributed to non-profit human services agencies, which, in turn, provide the food to individuals and families served by their programs. The primary method of distribution allows agencies to pre-order and schedule either pick-ups or deliveries. (Feeding America, 2010)

    Soup Kitchen:

    A place that serves prepared meals free-of-charge to individuals and families in need.

    Food Donor:

    Commercial food establishment, such as catering facility, restaurant, food supplier/wholesaler, retail food chain or local farm that donated surplus food to program. In addition, non-perishable canned and packaged foods are donated through collection campaigns organized by companies, schools, and civic groups.

    Recipient Agency:

    A community-based non-profit human services agency that meets selected criteria for membership and has a need for supplemental food to support its social services programs. Examples include soup kitchens, food pantries, emergency feeding programs, community residences for disabled adults and children, and day programs for children and seniors.

    Good Samaritan Laws:

    “Good Samaritan” laws protect food donors from liability so long as negligence or bad faith are not evident.


    Malnutrition is the condition that occurs when a person's body is not getting enough nutrients. The condition may result from an inadequate or unbalanced diet, digestive difficulties, absorption problems, or other medical conditions. (American Accreditation HealthCare Commission, 2007)


    Undernutrition is defined as a state in which the physical function of an individual is impaired to the point where he or she can no longer maintain natural bodily capacities such as growth, pregnancy, lactation, learning abilities, physical work and resisting and recovering from disease. (Source, World Food Programme, 2010)


    Undernourishment describes the status of people whose food intake does not include enough calories (energy) to meet minimum physiological needs. The term is a measure of a country's ability to gain access to food and is normally derived from Food Balance Sheets prepared by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). (Source, World Food Programme, 2010)

    sign up for H4h News

    Did You Know?
     We import more than 95% of our food.
    Striking Stat
    50% of Bahamians living in poverty are children.
    H4H Poll of the month
    Test Your Knowledge About Hunger & Food Security in The Bahamas

    In school, children from food-insecure households perform just as well as children that have enough nutrition daily.