The Impact of Your Donation

Every US$1 invested in GFN provides enough food for an average of 14 meals, according to 2020 data.

The Global FoodBanking Network (GFN) supports community-led solutions to alleviate hunger in more than 50 countries worldwide. Our work is made possible thanks to partnerships with corporations, foundations, and individuals who share in our mission.

We believe our model is both effective and efficient. In fact: Every US$1 invested in The Global FoodBanking Network provides enough food for an average of 14 meals, according to 2020 data. Transparency is important to us, so we want to be clear about what this data point means and how it is calculated. When we say that US$1 donated to The Global FoodBanking Network yields an average of 14 meals, it’s an illustration of the impact that dollar makes toward hunger alleviation around the world. Although GFN does not provide food directly to people facing hunger, our support to community-led food banks—through grants, technical assistance, knowledge sharing, and other programmatic support—enhances their ability to provide meals to individuals and families.

How we calculate the cost of a meal

Using data from the 2020 calendar year, GFN staff analyzed how many kilograms of food were supported by, or influenced through, our grantmaking program. This was based on the percentage of food bank budgets provided by GFN grants and the number of kilograms of food distributed by each member. The total number of kilograms of food was converted to meals using the average weight of a meal in the Network—342 grams.

We then divided the meal number by GFN’s total fiscal year 2020 organizational expenditure, using audited financials. This resulted in the dollar-to-meals ratio of US$1:14 meals.

The US$1:14 meals ratio represents a Network average and should not be interpreted as an estimate for an individual food bank, country, or region. The number of meals that could be yielded from US$1 varies widely across the Network based on access to surplus food, the costs of storage and transportation, the distance and difficulty involved in food distribution, national food donation policies, and other factors.

Note that this dollar-to-meal ratio is a conservative estimate, as it only considers financial assistance provided to Network members and excludes the impact of any non-financial assistance.

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