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food banks go high-tech to feed the hungry

food banks go high-tech to feed the hungryfrom ap: Food banks across the country are undergoing a high-tech revolution, adopting sophisticated databases, bar coding, GPS tracking, automated warehouses and other technologies used in the food industry that increasingly supplies their goods.

It's a long way from handing out macaroni and canned soup from a church basement. While more people can be fed through these innovations, food bank directors say it's also a sad acknowledgment that hunger has become a huge and seemingly unending problem. "What we tell people a lot is that we are a food distribution business wrapped in an altruistic skin," says Jan Pruitt, president and CEO of the North Texas Food Bank in Dallas.

Her food bank, along with Food Lifeline in Seattle and the Food Bank of Central New York in East Syracuse, are testing a $60 million effort by Feeding America, an umbrella organization for about 200 U.S. food banks, to create a state-of-the-art national computer network that will greatly automate services.

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