The Global FoodBanking Network (GFN) is an international nonprofit organization that nourishes the world’s hungry through uniting and advancing food banks in 44 countries. GFN focuses on combating hunger and preventing food waste by providing expertise, directing resources, sharing knowledge, and developing connections that increase efficiency, ensure food safety and reach more people facing hunger. In 2019, 949 GFN member food banks distributed over 919.75 million kilograms of food and grocery product to feed 16.9 million people through a network of more than 56,000 social service and community-based organizations.
Every year, GFN administers a network survey, which is conducted using census-style methodology. Food banks are asked to report on a variety of activities, including distribution, programs, and general operations for a calendar year, although some reporting periods on specific data may vary. In deference to food banks facing overwhelming demand for emergency food assistance and unprecedented service disruptions due to the COVID emergency, GFN modified the longer questionnaire from years past and issued a newer, shorter survey that took less time to complete. GFN members report kilograms of food and grocery product distributed rather than meals, as there is a lot of variability across food banks in how meals are calculated. Beneficiary organizations are defined as local, charitable agencies directly serving individuals and families. All data is self-reported by the food banking organizations. Information on the scope of food banks from GFN’s formal partner organizations, Feeding America and the European Food Banks Federation (FEBA), is included to provide a more comprehensive picture of food banking around the world.
The external data offers contextual information on the country’s socioeconomic status, population, and need.
Photos: Ken Jones Photography. Additional photos owned and provided by participating food bank organizations and GFN.