Scaling Existing Food Banks and National Networks

When food banks and national networks become GFN members, they grow faster and operate more efficiently, making them more effective—and communities more resilient.

Running a food bank is no small task—we make sure local food bank leaders don’t have to face complex challenges alone.

GFN exists to advance the work of food banks and national networks—whether they’re new or well-established. As a global network, we’re well positioned to draw from experiences shaped by many different contexts and to test the most effective innovations to see if they can be replicated in similar contexts.

We work with food banks to help them improve every element of their operations based on their unique needs and priorities.

For established organizations, we provide professional expertise, resources, and connections that allow them to more quickly and effectively address hunger needs in their communities. These services are tailored to the specific needs of Network members and the communities they serve. We ensure that each GFN member is well equipped to provide food access and reduce food loss and waste in the places where they operate.

How we support existing food banks and national networks


Technical assistance and capacity building

Through years of experience and lessons learned across a global network, GFN’s seasoned team of experts and partners know what it’s like to manage and expand a food bank. Using capability assessment metrics, our teams customize that earned body of knowledge to support each member organization in the ways that are most applicable and appropriate. That assistance can cover a wide range of topics—from food safety best practices, logistics, and building cold chain capacity to specialized programming such as child feeding programs, recruiting a strong Board of Directors, and facilitating critical partnerships.



Limited access to financial resources can delay a food bank’s growth and development—our strategic grants allow food banks and national networks to be more flexible and resilient while meeting urgent food security needs. We provide grants to our food bank partners so they can strengthen operations, position themselves for both immediate and long-term growth, and develop or continue programs that serve vulnerable populations. All grants are coupled with tailored technical assistance, project planning, and management support.


Product sourcing

GFN’s product sourcing specialists connect food producers, manufacturers, retailers, and other food businesses that have surplus products to food banks and national networks that can distribute those products to people facing hunger. We’re helping food banks create and expand these partnerships, from local-level to multinational companies, to ensure that less wholesome food goes to waste unnecessarily, and more people facing food insecurity can access key staples and fresh produce.



To become a GFN Certified member, organizations participate in a certification audit process that ensures food safety, product traceability, good governance, financial accountability, and compliance with international standards, national legal requirements, and ethical standards. A GFN Certified Food Banking Organization is accountable to donors, community organizations, government entities, and especially to the people they serve.

See Our Strategy for Supporting Start-up and Growing Food Banks