Client Service & Confidentiality FAQs
Client Service & Confidentiality Frequently Asked Questions
What should I do if someone asks for a list of all of my clients?
First tell the person that based on your contracts and confidentiality agreements, you can only share this information under very specific circumstances. Ask for their patience and understanding, as you may need to take time to make sure that you are following the correct procedures. You are only permitted to share information about your clients if you are presented with a court order or a subpoena. This is a document which must be signed by a judge. Call on your Pantry Manager or Lead, and your Regional Food Bank staff for support if you need it. Please also report the request to Oregon Food Bank. Contact Eric Sopkin at 503-419-4182.
What is a Court Order? What is a Subpoena?
A court order is an official document or proclamation by a judge which orders someone to do or to abstain from a specified act. A valid court order is signed by a judge. A subpoena commands a person to appear in court or to present information to the court. A valid subpoena will be signed by a judge.
What information can we require from participants?
Sites which are open to the public and distribute USDA / TEFAP food must collect the following: recipient name, address and / or city of residence (unless homeless), and household size. The recipient must also declare, with a signature and date, that their income does not exceed 185% of the federal poverty guidelines, that the household is in need of food, and that they will not sell, barter or trade food received through the program. Other information (such as demographic information) may be collected after the TEFAP information is collected, but it must be made clear to the client that ALL other information is optional.
Why Can't We Require ID?
If your program is open to the public, no photo identification or legal documentation is required to access food. (from TEFAP manual: Recipient Agencies must accept self-declaration as proof and must not require any further information such as Social Security numbers, pay stubs or photo identification. Recipient Agencies may not deny service due to lack of an address or evidence of an address). Requiring photo identification presents a significant barrier to many of the people that we are seeking to serve with food assistance. Many people do not have identification and that should not stop them from accessing food.
Does Oregon Food Bank report information to the government?
The Oregon Food Bank network completes monthly reports which are submitted to DHS. These reports include the number of people served, the number of pounds (or meals) distributed, the number of volunteers and volunteer hours contributed, and the number of additional pounds of donated food collected. No individual information is shared. Information gathered will not affect a participants' access to other programs (SNAP, WIC, Energy Assistance, etc.).
How often can someone receive services?
Oregon Food Bank has no restrictions on services. We believe that people will take what they need and give back when they can. We encourage agencies to open and provide services as frequently as possible based on their capacity to do so. Agencies decide independently their hours of operation and frequency of distribution. Agencies should not consider food assistance that a client receives at other locations when limiting service.