Food banks across the United States have increasingly engaged
in diverse gleaning, gardening, and farming activities. Some gardening programs seek to build poor
communities’ capacity to meet more of their own food needs, signalling
new roles for food banks. This article reports the results of a national survey and
in-depth case studies of the ways in which food banks are engaging in local agriculture and how this influences food banks’ roles in
community food systems. The patterns it reveals reflect
broader tensions in debates about hunger relief and food security.