GFN History

Looking Ahead to the GFN Global Summit: Q&A with Danny Flores of H-E-B Hunger Relief

In September 2024, The Global FoodBanking Network (GFN), in partnership with Foodbank Australia, will host the inaugural GFN Global Summit in Sydney, Australia. Previously called the Food Bank Leadership Institute, or FBLI, the event was born out of the need for a formal platform to connect food bankers and provide an opportunity for learning with peers and partners.

Danny Flores, senior manager for food retailer H-E-B’s Hunger Relief Program, has been there from the beginning. The first FBLI was hosted in San Antonio, Texas, in 2007 through the support H-E-B Hunger Relief. Flores and H-E-B have been crucial supporters of the event ever since and have witnessed its growth first-hand.

This year’s GFN Global Summit will continue to expand the scope of the event, exploring the linkages between the food system and climate change with a focus on ideas, stories, and solutions at the local, national, and global level.

Flores took the time to share his excitement for this year’s event while reflecting on its history and importance.

GFN: Why is the GFN Summit an important event to you?

Danny Flores: This event is so important because we need to continue to provide nourishment to those struggling in some shape or form. In many parts of the world, a lack of food will not be resolved tomorrow, and it’s really difficult for families to worry about where their next meals are coming from, so we want to food banks to share the many ways those families can be supported, with dignity and respect, as they seek assistance.

How does it feel to have been a part of this event since its inception?

It’s an awesome feeling. We started FBLI in San Antonio at H-E-B headquarters. We had 23 food bankers from nine countries come in. Now to see it grow to over 50 countries in Mexico City last year, that’s remarkable. It’s amazing.

GFN and food banks from all different countries come in, and GFN just really makes them feel at home. That’s really, to me, what food banking really is. It’s about family. And when these folks are able to talk and have the conversations that need to be had in order to enrich somebody’s life, to me that’s golden.

Much has changed since the inaugural event in 2007. What is the common thread from then up to now?

What really hasn’t changed is its core, the ability for people to sit down and share ideas, problems, solutions. How can we help more folks appropriately within their communities? How can get folks to pay attention to these important issues? What kind of policies can we change to serve more people? There’s still a lot of work to be done, but the work GFN and food banks are doing is really important.

Why does H-E-B partner with GFN?

H-E-B bases our partnerships on shared values. GFN is family, and they’re family to folks in so many different countries. GFN brings people together.

As far as HEB is concerned, we’ve supported food banks from the get-go, since we opened our doors. If you are a company, you should look at the ways you are giving and think about supporting GFN and food banking. GFN amplifies the work of food banks and supporting them is really going to help somebody tomorrow.

decorative flourish

Related blogs

Back to Blogs