Through the GFN Global Summit, regional conferences, and Knowledge Networks, we’re providing specialized training, toolkits, and resource and programming guides, as well as educational opportunities and intentional spaces for food banks to share ideas, learning from and inspiring each other.
Early in GFN’s history, food bank members expressed the need for a formal event to connect with and learn directly from peers and partners. In 2007, we created the Food Bank Leadership Institute (FBLI) to meet that need.
Since then, FBLI has been an essential event for practitioners and experts interested in deepening understanding about how the food banking model alleviates hunger, creates healthy communities, and reduces food waste. Over the years, in-person and virtual conversations among FBLI participants have resulted in local leaders opening new food banks in new areas, expanding programs to address issues like child hunger and food loss and waste, and increasing capacity to serve more people. FBLI also serves as an important platform for broader conversations between food banks and other food systems experts.
GFN is excited to announce the next generation of FBLI, the GFN Global Summit. While food banking will continue to be at the core of the event, this shift reflects the opportunity to expand audiences, deepen partnerships, and advance new ideas for food banks and others working across the food system.
In 2021, GFN launched the Knowledge Networks to give food bank members ongoing opportunities for peer-to-peer collaboration. Focused on topics like logistics, product sourcing, data management, and school feeding programs, each network is facilitated by GFN experts. One of the benefits of the Knowledge Networks is their inclusivity—all member food bank employees, from the executive directors to associate staff, are invited to participate and share ideas.