Program areas at The Global FoodBanking Network
CAPACITY BUILDING: In FY 2022, GFN's capacity building focused on essential technical and financial support to member food banks during the second year of the COVID-19 pandemic and confluence of global crises. GFN supported member food banks who addressed a second consecutive year of historically high rates of service delivery, providing food assistance to 39 million people, including 17.5 million children, across 44 countries, representing a 132% increase over pre-pandemic (2019) levels. An estimated 45% of people served accessed food bank services for the first time, reflecting the continued economic toll of the pandemic on millions of vulnerable people. GFN's data-driven approach accentuated by focused-field assistance, deployment of various technical assistance strategies and interventions, and strategic grants enabled members to sustain two consecutive years of heightened need of services. In FY 2022, GFN support included an estimated 26,000 hours in technical assistance and consultancy to expand the service delivery capabilities of food bank members. Technical assistance combined with GFN financial support and programmatic investments in FY 2022, included $8.87 million in grants disbursed to support of member capacity building (57%), emergency assistance (26%), and child hunger/school feeding support 9%. Review of the efficacy of GFN's financial support to members found that 96% of award objectives were met over the grant period. In FY 2022, GFN piloted new programming activities to support members' continuous improvement in operations and service delivery capabilities. Pilot programs included food safety, public policy, knowledge sharing, and food recovery technology. Pilot programming included independent, third-party certification by AIB applied in three Latin American countries in the areas of food safety, food quality management, and process optimization to the highest international standard for commercial food-grade facilities. GFN along with member food banks in sub-Saharan Africa, the NGO FoodCloud, and the Irish government's development agency, began feasibility testing of a food recovery technology application.
THOUGHT LEADERSHIP: GFN's thought leadership aims to support member food banks through research and evidence-based promotion of the food bank model in improving food security, humanitarian response, and food loss and waste (FLW) mitigation. GFN's thought leadership activity included the fourth in a series of research studies that documents the food bank movement across the world, the State of Global Food Banking, with the collaboration from the European Federation of Food Banks and Feeding America (USA). In FY 2022, GFN also released the finding of the annual Network Activity Report (CY 2021) and the impact of food banks in response to the second year of the COVID-pandemic. New, original research included phase 2 of the Global Food Donation Policy Atlas with the Harvard Law FLPC. GFN and the FLPC released four subject specific research briefs on date labeling, liability protection, tax policy and incentives, and emergency humanitarian relief in the Promoting Food Donation series, identifying key issues, policies, and best practices. GFN and the FLPC collaborated in phase 2 of the Atlas project research with food donation policy framework research undertaken in eight countries. The cumulative effect of GFN's evidence-based thought leadership in FY 2022, led to affirmation of the food bank model in various spheres of influence. The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations endorsed the essential role of food banks in response to the on-going COVID pandemic. The UN Food Systems Summit included food banking as a key mechanism for reduction in FLW, and GFN's work with the FLPC in food donation policy has been endorsed by the UN Environmental Programme, academics, and policy maker engagements in ten countries. Acknowledgement of the credibility of GFN's thought leadership role in FY 2022 is most notable in GFN's participation and engagement in the UN Global Crisis Response Group (UN-GCRG). Convened by the United Nation's Secretary General, the UN-GCRG is an invitation-only assemblage of leading public and private sector institutions brought together to provide up-to-date, highly informed, unfiltered weekly situation reports on a country-by-country basis.
NEW FOOD BANK DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM: FY 2022 was the first full year of the New Food Bank Development Program (NFBD), created for the identification, recruitment, and training of potential new food bank partners in high need communities where food banks do not exist or nascent in development. NFBD prioritizes the recruitment of new food banks in communities with persistently high prevalence rates of hunger or food insecurity (15% or more) and where the food bank model does not exist or is nascent in development. GFN's NFBD programming includes research and identification of potential food bank or similar community-based human services partners. Organizational leaders participate in virtual/webinar introduction to the food bank model, leading to a food bank assessment and planning protocol, dissemination of food bank operations toolkits, one-to-one consultation with program experts, and GFN's own assessment of organizational potential through in-field and remote determinations.
EDUCATION AND TRAINING: Central to GFN's programmatic model is education, knowledge sharing, and training made available across borders, cultures, contexts to aid food bank development. GFN's Food Bank Leadership Institute (FBLI) has an important element in education and training activity, becoming the world's foremost gathering of food banks and community-based food assistance leaders, convened for networking with external partners and experts, knowledge sharing, and education. With the onset of the COVID pandemic in FY 20 and continuing through FY 22, GFN opted for a series of "Virtual FBLI" sessions, webinars which are timely in content and make available distinguished leaders and experts, with engagement with GFN members through contemporaneous dialogues and Q & A. Throughout FY 2022, GFN conducted 14 webinars to a combined audience of 848 global attendees from over 70 countries. In FY 2022, GFN piloted a new programming activity known as knowledge networks. In Latin America and globally, it links peer-to-peer learning and external experts to specific food bank operational activities and food bank managers responsible for those functions, such as inventory management, logistics, warehouse operations and programs such as school feeding and community-service agency management.
FOOD BANK INCUBATOR PROGRAM: In FY 2022, GFN's Food Bank Incubator Program entered its second year of programming with food bank projects to accelerate food banking in nations of higher rates of food insecurity and underserved communities, with limited or no food bank presence. GFN's Incubator provides focused, accelerated programming for rapid organizational advancement, convening a small number of food bank founders/leaders on a regional basis, with FY 2020 -FY 2023 cohorts in South Asia/India (three members), Southeast Asia (seven members in six countries) and sub-Saharan Africa (six members/countries). In FY 2022, Incubator members saw high growth rates, with Sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia cohorts combined showing an 18% increase year-over-year in people served. Of the 10 largest service delivery by persons served in the GFN network overall, five of the top 10 are Southeast Asia and India Incubator food bank members. The Incubator member food bank cohorts (Africa and Asia) outpaced global network averages in service delivery, accounting for 33% of all people served by GFN member food banks in FY 2022.