World Hunger Fighters Gather and Gain Strength at H-E-B / GFN Food Bank Leadership Institute (FBLI)
“We have so much in common and it bonds us together so quickly”
They came from 30 different countries, from every corner of the world, with diverse and unique backgrounds, speaking many different languages…
They left as a strong, unified community – inspired, informed, energized, and even more determined to advance their shared goal of alleviating world hunger and reducing food waste through food banking.
FBLI in the News
Video: Food Banks Converge on Houston to Solve Global Hunger Problem.
Story appeared in The Houston Press on March 7, 2013
This year’s FBLI—the seventh Annual—was, by all accounts, one for the record books in terms of attendance, number of countries represented, practical outcomes, and inspiration. Among the highlights was the “FBLI World’s Fare,” a networking reception held to introduce FBLI attendees to Houston’s international business and philanthropic communities.
FBLI Helps GFN Advance the Work of Food Banking
FBLI is critical to helping GFN achieve the primary goal of alleviating world hunger through food banking. While GFN has food bank development projects underway in numerous countries, it’s not possible to respond in person, on the ground, to each and every opportunity that presents itself. FBLI helps GFN create and support food banks around the world by educating, training, and mentoring food bankers, and prospective food bankers from all over the world.
A Place to Inspire and Be Inspired
Among the many benefits of FBLI is the opportunity to meet and be inspired by others with common goals, challenges, and concerns. FBLI fosters a spirit of collaboration and unity that, according to attendees, provides renewed strength to carry on their mission of fighting hunger.
“There was great comfort in discovering our similarities and
inspiration to be drawn from exploring our differences. The true message
repeated over and over was, whatever the hurdles, we are not alone, and
together we can change the world.” – Sarah Pennell, Foodbank Australia.
Curriculum Addresses Variety of Interests and Needs
Since participants come to FBLI with varying levels of experience, the FBLI curriculum was designed to address three stages of food banking: development, newly launched operations, and expansion. Beginners learned the fundamentals of starting and sustaining a food bank. More advanced food bankers discussed best practices in operations and logistics, food sourcing, and fundraising to expand their capacity, reach, and effectiveness. Some of the topics covered during the week included:
• Food Banks and Nutrition
Special guest speakers included The Honorable Marty McVey of USAID; FAO’s Marie-Christine Laporte, Alliance Coordinator for the Alliance Against Hunger and Malnutrition; Dr. Raj Rajaram of Lions Clubs International; Matt Muraski of Feed My Starving Children; GFN’s Craig Nemitz representing Rotary International; and Dr. Moez El Shohdi, CEO of the Egyptian Food Bank.
GFN corporate partners also contributed to the sessions: Pat Coats Senior Manager, Returns Management of Kellogg’s shared the corporate perspective on expanding food sources. Stephanie Lomibao, Senior Vice President and National Philanthropy Manager for Bank of America Charitable Foundation, and David Ruiz, Senior Vice President for Community Impact for Bank of America (Houston), joined GFN President and CEO Jeff Klein and Houston Food Bank Chief Development Officer Amy Ragan to provide insights into developing successful corporate partnerships. Stephanie and Amy also joined a panel of experts including Katelin Kennedy, Manager for Sustainability and Corporate Responsibility for Hilton Worldwide, to share best practices for effectively developing the level of financial and human resources food banks rely on to run smoothly and efficiently.
A key topic of concern and interest for food bank leaders is nutrition, and we were pleased to present a panel discussion anchored by Dr. Miriam Nelson, Professor of Nutrition at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, and founder and director of the John Hancock Research Center on Physical Activity, Nutrition and Obesity Prevention at Tufts University, along with Glenn Moehling, Corporate Responsibility of Elanco, a division of Eli Lilly and Company. In addition, food bank leaders from Israel, Colombia, and Argentina shared information on nutrition programs operating in their countries.
The Houston Food Bank (HFB), one of the largest food banks in the United States, graciously hosted FBLI 2013. HFB is a marvel of design, size, and efficient output. The food bank provides more than 50 million meals through a network of 500 hunger relief agencies in 18 counties in southeast Texas.
Thank you once again to the City of Houston, the Mayor’s Office, and the Mayor’s Office of International Communities.
And, a very sincere thank you to our generous corporate partners who believe in our mission and provided support to make FBLI 2013 possible.