The Global FoodBanking Network welcomes two new members

In 2006, The Global FoodBanking Network (GFN) was founded by four of the world’s leading food banks; Red Argentina de Bancos de Alimentos, Food Banks Canada, Bancos de Alimentos de Mexico and Feeding America. GFN’s mission is to alleviate global hunger by developing food banks in communities where they are needed and by supporting food banks where they exist. Since 2006, GFN has grown to connect food banking organizations in more than 30 countries across the globe. This summer, GFN welcomed two new certified members, Banco de Alimentos Peru and Tider, a food bank based in Istanbul, Turkey.  “GFN is fortunate to welcome Banco de Alimentos Peru and Tider to its network,” said Lisa Moon, GFN President and CEO.  “Both food banking organizations are serving critically vulnerable populations and supporting those facing hunger in accessing the resources needed to achieve self-sufficiency.” The food bank model is a proven method that crosses country borders and is adaptable in a variety of way. Food banks acquire donated or surplus food, much of which might otherwise be wasted, from farms, manufacturers, stores and consumers. The food is then distributed to the world’s most vulnerable including children, seniors and families through a network of charity organizations.  GFN certifies food banking organizations that comply with internationally-recognized operating, ethical, financial, and transparent standards. More than just a “food” bank Although meal distribution is a food banks main function, many  organizations also serve as pillars of civil society. Tider, founded in 2010, is a strong example of this and has gained recognition for their Support HR program. Support HR is an employment support program to help beneficiaries of the food bank gain the skills and income needed to become self-sufficient. The program helps beneficiaries find jobs and raises awareness about the importance of meeting the administrative requirements for employment, such as registering in the social security system. Support HR was awarded the Global Food Bank Innovation Award in 2017 at the annual GFN Food Bank Leadership Institute(FBLI). “We are excited to finally achieve GFN certification as proof that we are functioning with the highest standards,” said Tider general manager, Pinar Değirmencioğlu. “We are looking forward to the networking and sharing of best practices with other food banks in the GFN network.” Currently, Tider is serving more than 78,000 people in Turkey.  Reaching more hungry people with GFN certification Banco de Alimentos Peru was founded in 2014, as a merger of two smaller separate initiatives to tackle hunger in Peru. According to the World Food Programme, approximately 11 million people are currently undernourished in Peru. In the organization’s early days, founders visited food banks in Chile and Argentina to learn more about the model and how it could work for their country. This was where Banco de Alimentos Peru first learned about the benefits of GFN membership. “We realized early on that we needed to achieve GFN certification,” said Daniela Osores, executive director at Banco de Alimentos Peru. “It has been an important step for growth and is recognition that we are on the correct path as an organization.” A relatively “new” food bank, Banco de Alimentos Peru provided 2.7 million kilos of food to 100,000 people in need through more than 100 beneficiary agencies last year.  Of these 100 beneficiary organizations, Peru serves the Don Bosco House, a residential care and support home for young people who are unable to live with their families. The aim of the Don Bosco house is to help young people achieve their full potential and move on to play their part in society. “If it weren’t for Don Bosco House I would be in a neighborhood gang or possibly in jail. I lived in Don Bosco House for eight years. When I was a kid, there were some days that we only had bread and tea as a meal,” explained Charly Saldaña Bellina. “I currently serve as a volunteer at Don Bosco, and I pick up the donations from supermarkets. It’s amazing to see the faces of the kids when they taste new flavors such as eggplant, mushroom, artichokes and avocado, all thanks to Banco de Alimentos Peru.”