Food Bank Network Services
Food Bank For New York City works with a network of more than 1,000 food assistance programs — including food pantries, soup kitchens, senior centers, after-school and summer programs, Open Market BackPack Programs, daycare services, rehabilitation centers, shelters and youth services — to fight food poverty throughout the five boroughs. In addition to distributing millions of pounds of food every year, the Food Bank provides education and nutrition services in order to strengthen the New York City hunger-relief community's ability to combat hunger and its causes.
These services help our network:
- sustain and build on their services and capacity;
- make connections with experts on areas from technology and public policy to nutrition and funding;
- build a supply of training and educational materials that can benefit staff, volunteers and clients; and
- join a community where ideas and experiences are shared.
The integrated suite of education and nutrition services the Food Bank offers our network received the 2004 Hunger's Hope Award for Innovative Programming from Feeding America. These services include:
Annual Agency Conference Site Visits Grant Administration
Educational Workshops Technical Assistance
Agency Intranet Agency E-Newsletters Summer Food Service
Annual Agency Conference
Every fall, the Food Bank's Annual Agency Conference offers our network of more than 1,000 food assistance programs and other hunger-relief organizations an opportunity to come together and strengthen the hunger-relief community's response to hunger through workshops covering policy, nutrition, program opportunities, benefits, outreach and more. Conference participants also attend a panel discussion and keynote speeches from notable members of the hunger-relief and legislative communities; an award ceremony; and a vendor marketplace where they can meet locksmiths to health insurance providers.
The Food Bank goes on annual site visits to assess the specific needs of each food assistance program in our network and ensure the compliance of our programs with Food Bank standards. Our staff provides assistance in areas from food safety best practices to the application processes for city, state and federal emergency food grants. In addition to our annual visits, the Food Bank regularly responds to special requests from our network to help resolve any challenges the programs experience throughout the year and make nutrition evaluations and referrals.
Food Bank For New York City facilitates connections between our network of programs and various private and government funding and food sources. As the principal outlet for government-provided food in New York City, the Food Bank facilitates the granting process among our network and distributes food allocations from city, state and federal emergency food programs. In addition, the Food Bank is the primary distributor of city, state and federal government hunger-abatement grants, which food assistance programs use to acquire food and food-related items for New Yorkers in need.
The Food Bank offers our network of programs regular workshops that take place in locations throughout the five boroughs. In order to address the nutritional practices of our network, our staff nutritionist provides a monthly series of nutrition workshops that help program directors develop practices that encourage proper nutrition among their clients. The Food Bank also provides regular workshops aimed at improving and expanding our network's services. These capacity-building workshops include monthly Agency Orientation Sessions and Online Ordering Trainings as well as workshops addressing topics including food safety, government benefit programs, volunteer management and grantwriting.
Food Bank For New York City has made a commitment to providing our network with hands-on technical assistance. Our staff provides one-on-one assistance to food programs in maintaining compliance with established network criteria. Every program within our network is given the opportunity to develop an individual program plan in conjunction with our specialists. Specific areas of assistance include proper food handling, food storage, programming, volunteer recruitment and meal planning.
The Food Bank provides our network of food assistance programs with a login to our Agency Intranet — an area of our website that provides a variety of education and nutrition resources as well as an Online Ordering System that is available 24/7 and our Workshop & Event Calendar. Education and nutrition resources provided by the Intranet include listings of current events and media pieces relevant to the hunger-relief community; downloadable tools addressing topics such as Nutrition & Food Safety and Funding & Grantwriting; links pages providing information on resources available to food assistance programs and those in need in New York City from the Food Bank and other nonprofit and government organizations; information on how to adopt the Food Bank's model programs; FAQs; and an archive of our Agency E-Newsletters.
The Food Bank provides our network with monthly e-newsletters to keep them informed on current news relevant to the hunger-relief community and to keep them up to date on the latest tools, links and workshops posted to our Agency Intranet. The Food Bank's quarterly Potluck e-newsletter provides full-length articles — including a letter from Food Bank President and CEO Margarette Purvis and "Policy Platter," which addresses public policy issues relevant to the hunger-relief community — and listings of new Intranet postings and workshops. Each month between issues of Potluck, the Food Bank sends a What's New e-newsletter with brief listings of current events and new Intranet postings and workshops. Archives of our e-newsletters are available on the Agency Intranet.
Summer Food Service (Summer Meals)
Every summer, the Food Bank works to promote the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP, also known as Summer Meals), a federal child nutrition program that helps ensure children don’t lose access to breakfast and lunch when school lets out. While free meals are available to all children over the summer at hundreds of sites citywide, too many families are not aware of the program and participation remains low. To increase awareness and participation in Summer Meals, the Food Bank partners with the Department of Education’s Office of SchoolFood (link to SchoolFood website) and our citywide network of approximately 1,000 community-based member programs to help connect New Yorkers to this important source of food for children during the summer months.
For questions on the above services, contact Kim Keller, Director of Member Services. If you are interested in becoming a member agency of the Food Bank For New York City, contact Mabis Chase, Community Programs Associate.