A message from the CEO

Food banks provided an estimated 1.4 billion meals in 2019

Dear Partner – The Global FoodBanking Network (GFN) circulates an annual assessment to our member food banks so that we can gather comprehensive information about service delivery, operations and programs. This year’s Network Activity Report rolled out about the same time that COVID-19 did, and given that our food banks rapidly entered disaster response mode, we extended the timeline to accurately capture data. Today, we released the results of this survey. In 2019, GFN network food banks:
  • Served a total of 16.9 million people in 44 countries, representing a 76% increase in service from 2018
  • Reached 8.9 million women and girls
  • Worked through 56,171 beneficiary organizations, including pantries, soup kitchens, homeless shelters and orphanages
  • Provided an estimated 1.4 billion meals
  • Were powered by 191,903 volunteers
The GFN network added food banks in 14 new countries in 2019.  More than half of the organizations supported by GFN are now based in the Asia-Pacific, where 60 percent of the world’s undernourished reside. Last year, we were proud to forge new ties with emerging food banks in India, Indonesia, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam through the Incubator initiative. The Asia-Pacific food bank members now account for 56% of all people served by the GFN network. Latin America and the Caribbean is the next biggest region in activity, representing 27% of people served. In Sub-Saharan Africa, we began working with organizations in urban areas of Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar and Nigeria. Forty out of 44 countries served are emerging or developing market economies. Survey data also tells us that more than half of the people served by food banks are women and girls. We know women and girls are especially vulnerable to hunger and malnutrition, and that they are uniquely positioned to help their families and communities overcome these circumstances. Since COVID-19 was declared a pandemic, food banks served by GFN have even further ramped up their efforts. A pulse survey conducted last month reported that organizations in all countries were seeing increases in demand for emergency assistance, with nearly half seeing a doubling of requests. An estimated five to eight million additional people were provided emergency food assistance by GFN member food banks in just 90 days. On average, food banks across 44 countries had increased service to 100,000+ more people in need over the period March – June 2020. We are grateful to our network for their commitment and dedication to fighting hunger. Thanks to these 2019 results, the power of food banking is on display. At a time when unemployment rates are mounting, poverty and accompanying rises in food insecurity are deepening in virtually all countries, local food banks are providing critical lifelines to families in need. Please visit our website to see the increase in GFN’s global impact. And please keep up with our work and COVID-19 response on social media and here.