Neel from LearnFoodPhotography.com posed an interesting question to me in email a short time ago. He asked "
But, as I was catching up today on some old magazines, I happened to read an article in the Dec/Jan Organic Gardening issue about hunger and malnutrition in America. Along with the article was a whole list of organizations trying to help this problem. Most of these are non-profit or governmental agencies... groups that don't have a lot of money and rely on volunteers. The idea occurred to me that this is a great way for any food photographer to give back, and particularly, an interesting idea for those new to shooting food to develop their work.
I hear (and preach) not to give your work away for free all the time. I still stand by that, even for new photographers. But as in all of life, there are times to break the rules, and building your portfolio by volunteering your photos to groups that help feed hungry people or educate people about healthful eating? That sounds like a win all around to me.
Here are the groups listed in the Organic Gardening article, but I encourage you to check into food banks and services such as the United Way in your area for even more opportunities.