“Banco de Alimentos is the most recognized entity in Puerto Rico that distributes food to the population since 1988. It is a private organization, that along with institutions, companies and individuals, has managed to serve annually over 1.3 million people in need. Over 13.5 million pounds of food have been distributed annually to the entire Island of Puerto Rico including the municipalities of the Islands of Vieques and Culebra. In addition, it is the only institution, that has excellent ratings in the food handling inspections by the AIB Inspectors, the Health Department, Feeding America, United Way of Puerto Rico, American International Bakery, and others, that guarantees the government, the private and public sectors, that the work is carried out under the highest standards of sanitary requirements and compliance”.
- 1988Banco de Alimentos Puerto Rico is established, by the initiative of missionary Leo Palomo, to fight food insecurity for the less fortunate in the Island. Palomo was characterized by its community work distributing food to the neediest from the trunk of a loaned car.
- 1989Banco de Alimentos responds to the food needs of people affected by Hurricane Hugo.
- 1990It is incorporated as Second Harvest Puerto Rico after being approved by the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, public law 101-610 of November 16, 1990, known as the “Good Samaritan Food Donation Act”, to exempt from civil and criminal liability any person or institution that donates food to a non-profit organization to be distributed among the needy class in Puerto Rico. The activities are transferred to a 13,000 square foot distribution center through the rental of warehouse facilities at Corujo Industrial Park, Hato Tejas, Bayamón. It becomes one of the participating agencies of United Way of Puerto Rico.
- 1996It joins Feeding America. the largest network of food banks in the United States.
- 1998It responds to the food needs of the victims of Hurricane Georges. Food distribution program begins to 78 municipalities, including Vieques and Culebra.
- 2000Moves operations to a 24,000 square foot building in Corujo Industrial Park in Hato Tejas, Bayamón.
- 2002Food purchase program established.
- 2007Begins to receive the support of the Legislative Funds of the Government of Puerto Rico.
- 2008La Mochila Alegre program is created, with an enrollment of 252 children.
- 2013It begins its Retail Store Donation Program, in which a partnership is made with Walmart, Sam’s and Amigo supermarkets for daily food collection. The Community Impacts Zone program is founded to address the food needs of vulnerable groups.
- 2014Banco de Alimentos of Puerto Rico increases its collections and, in addition to the contribution of non-perishable food, online donations are added.
- 2015The Volunteer Program is developed, and it has been growing and becoming more diverse with local and international volunteers. We receive college students from all over the Island, retired seniors, employees who come with their work teams, and even minors who come with their parents to help our entity with its volunteer activities. The Francisco Carvajal Foundation awards the Carvajal Fuentes Sisters Award. The University Food Distribution Program is founded to address the food insecurity of that population. The Volunteer Program signs the collaborative agreement with the Sagrado Corazón University.
- 2016Federal impetus for the work of Banco de Alimentos of Puerto Rico after establishing an agreement with the Administration of Socioeconomic Development of the Family (ADSEF) and the Federal Department of Agriculture (USDA). We were able to receive USDA products with the goal of expanding the distribution among the needy population in the country. The partnership with the Administration of Socioeconomic Development of the Family (ADSEF) begins.
- 2017We receive a visit from Dianne Aviv, CEO of Feeding America. Banco de Alimentos responds to the emergency following Hurricanes Irma and Maria, addressing food insecurity for health, resilience, and human security. United by Puerto Rico grants $2.1 million designated for the purchase of a new warehouse building. We initiated the Federal Study and Work Program in partnership with American University, AutoMecca Technical College, ICPR Junior College and EDIC College. Recognized by United Way of PR with the “Community Impact Award” for exemplifying and providing Services of Excellence that result in social change in the community. The Government of Puerto Rico commemorates the “Hunger Awareness Day” in September. In affirmation of public policy that safeguards the health, well-being and optimum quality of life of the people of Puerto Rico. This day continues to be celebrated annually. Puerto Rican music star Daddy Yankee, along with Banco de Alimentos, delivered 400 boxes of food to victims of Hurricane Maria in Toa Baja, one of the most affected municipalities in the northern part of the island.
- 2018United Way of PR awards the Community Impact Award to Banco de Alimentos in recognition of the work done during the emergency and recovery following Hurricanes Irma and Maria. Recognized by the Puerto Rico Senate for its commendable record of alleviating hunger in the country. The organization’s official name is changed from Second Harvest Puerto Rico to Banco de Alimentos Puerto Rico, Inc.
- 2019Corporate alliance – The Golden Lunchbox– against malnutrition begins with the MCS Foundation, Abbott and the Hospital Association to improve the eating habits of older adults who are readmitted to hospitals for lack of food. Resident commissioner, Jenniffer Gonzalez Colón, visited Banco de Alimentos to identify alternatives within the federal government and expand funding and stockpile options for food in reserve to address any emergency. Among the alternatives discussed: That Puerto Rico be not treated as an overseas jurisdiction within the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) emergency food program to access inventory and not just surplus.
- 2020Banco de Alimentos moves to a modern state of the arts facility in Carolina, following an investment of $5.3 million in a 30,600 square foot warehouse and 10,000 office structure. Claire Babineaux-Fontenot, CEO of Feeding America, inaugurates the new facilities. As part of the inauguration of the new headquarters of Banco de Alimentos, Babineaux-Fontenot participated in several meetings with entities committed to continuing to work to reduce poverty and inequality in the country. Share Our Strength and No Kid Hungry shared with Banco de Alimentos the funds needed to distribute food to 1,500 children ages 4 to 16 in Peñuelas, Ponce and Guánica. Public figures around the island joined Banco de Alimentos campaign to raise funds to fight food insecurity in the midst of the pandemic and in the wake of the hurricane season. In response to the food emergency because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Banco de Alimentos set out a creative strategy to distribute vouchers, certificates, and cards to needy sectors of the population for purchases of hot meals in commercial establishments. To help farmers, and through a $22,000 investment, Banco de Alimentos joined in partnership with COSSAO in Utuado through the Healthy Boxes Project. 100 boxes of agricultural products were distributed weekly to families in Jayuya, Utuado and Ciales. In addition, in support of the local farmers, other boxes of locally harvested fruits, vegetables and other products were distributed through Agro Imperio. Thanks to food received from the Departments of Education, Family, Agriculture, USDA and $284,279 wholesale purchases from local food distributors; 2,396,375 pounds of food was distributed between March and April to 532,528 Puerto Ricans impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. Banco de Alimentos launched seven simultaneous projects under the slogan “The Mobile Pantry”. The populations impacted were older adults, long-term hospitalized caregivers, mothers and fathers that are heads of household with food-insecure infants 0 to 3 years old, unemployed, food-insecure children at risk, and low-income patients with chronic conditions or food insecure. Red Nose Day USA shared on its social networks an emotional campaign to encourage support for Puerto Rico. Banco de Alimentos’s Gratitude Program raised 20,505 pounds of food. In the event participated: WAPA TV's Noticentro; Plaza Las Américas; KFC; AGMA Security Service; Econo Supermarkets; Sor Isolina Ferré Centers; Islandwide Group; Come Colegial, University of Puerto Rico Mayagüez Campus, among many others.
- 2021Filing of PS 9 – January 2, 2021, presented by the President of the Senate, Hon. Dalmau Santiago, to establish public policy for the eradication of hunger and to promote the effective management of surplus food.