COVID-19 Global Food Bank Response

by The Global FoodBanking Network
COVID-19 Global Food Bank Response
COVID-19 Global Food Bank Response
COVID-19 Global Food Bank Response
COVID-19 Global Food Bank Response
COVID-19 Global Food Bank Response
COVID-19 Global Food Bank Response
COVID-19 Global Food Bank Response
COVID-19 Global Food Bank Response

Project Report | Nov 10, 2021
COVID-19 Response Update - November 2021

By Caroline Parsons | Associate Director, Major Gifts

COVID-19 continues to surge around the world and the GFN network continues to work tirelessly to ensure that communities are served as the need. The most impactful way we can update you on our work is to tell some of the success stories we've seen and innovative changes that have been made since the pandemic began. 

We have developed a new food sourcing program designed to help connect food banks with food or hygiene product which has been highly successful in making convenient connections to reduce food waste during this challenging time. For example, cruise ships full of food that were stuck in ports with product ready to go to waste were connected with food bank locations near where they were and the products could be used and consumed in a timely manner. 

We've also seen particular growth in some regions that are newer to our network like in Africa

Food Banking Kenya started out as Platter of Compassion, a small group of friends who felt the need to support the underserved populations of Nairobi by sharing their resources and visiting children’s homes. With a desire to have a much bigger impact, the group decided to formalize their actions and so in 2016 officially founded Food Banking Kenya as an NGO.

Food Banking Kenya (FBK) operates a warehouse facility to store donated or rescued food for redistribution. The program actively solicits food and other crucial resources from local food growers, retailers, wholesalers, and processors.

In 2020 FBK achieved astonishing growth increasing the amount of food redistributed from just over 11,000 Kgs to in excess of 880,000 Kgs (an increase of nearly 8,000%). This enabled them to serve 174,000 vulnerable people – up from 26,000 in 2019. This incredible growth was facilitated by an expansion in physical infrastructure including moving into a new warehouse and the purchase of a new refrigerated truck.

Food Banking Kenya (FBK) created a brand new Agricultural Recovery Program

In light of supply chain disruptions and exports to Europe, Middle East and other African markets being canceled, Food Banking Kenya partnered with both large commercial farms and smallholder farmers. In this model FBK collects surplus product from the farms but provides some compensation to the farmers when necessary so they are not financially impacted by making the product available.

In addition to the farms, FBK has also partnered with pack houses located close to Nairobi International Airport so they can rescue surplus product which would otherwise be wasted at those facilities. This meant that high volumes of fresh produce were now available and the food FBK distributed was now nutritionally more valuable than it was before the COVID-19 pandemic

A story about the GFN partner in Ghana:

In 2011 in Accra, Ghana, Chef Elijah Amoo Addo met a man with a mental disability who came to his restaurant in search for food, he would later bring those leftovers back to a group of vulnerable individuals. When Elijah asked why he was doing that, the man responded, "if I don’t do it who will?" This moment served as the inspiration for Elijah to begin his work in hunger relief, all while using his network and expertise as a professional chef in Ghana and abroad.

Elijah is a Ghanaian chef and food stylist who has become a social entrepreneur through his creation of Food for All Africa. In 2017, Chef Addo was awarded a Queen’s Young Leaders Award by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace for his contribution towards reforming Ghana’s food distribution system to reduce waste, overcome hunger, and alleviate poverty and malnutrition.

Food for All Africa was founded in 2015 by Chef Elijah Addo Amoo as one of the first NGOs of its kind in Ghana, a food banking organization. Their mission, to reduce hunger and poverty in Ghana by creating efficient and sustainable means of nutrition through food banking, diversity of long-term social development, awareness, educational and feeding programs. In co-operation with credible, potential partners in all sectors.

Food for All Africa partners with a network of retailers, manufacturers, wholesalers, farmers, and growers to recover their edible surplus food and redistribute it responsibly to provide greater access to food for vulnerable groups across Ghana. The priority groups receiving services, also known as beneficiaries, include vulnerable children, the elderly, and persons with disabilities. Food is redistributed to orphanages and schools for child feeding programs, as well as individual households and communities that depend on food assistance to supplement their diets.

The pandemic hit and a significant portion of the population employed by the informal and hospitality sectors lose their livelihoods. Increased budget deficit of up to 10 percent was forecast. And the March 2020 Cadre Harmonisé assessment in West Africa predicted an increase in food insecurity due to the slowdown of economic activities. During this time, Food For All Africa decided to innovate and implements new programming during the COVID-19 pandemic that will be around for years to come:

The LunchBox School Feeding Program, launched in 2016, continues establishing kitchens in the most underserved primary schools of Accra and in 2020 the School Feeding Kitchen program comes to life and serves as an opportunity for the students’ mothers to develop their culinary skills and potentially gain employment. Food for All provided food preparation and nutrition workshops for 122 mothers (theoretical & practical) the training culminated with the hiring process of the best five chefs directly by the schools as the new school chef, another two as a kitchen general supervisor and a purchasing supervisor for over 20 different schools.

Another innovation has been the Mobile Foodbank Kitchen, a community-based program that provides nutritious meals on wheels to communities free of cost. With a target of reaching rural communities with high nutritional needs, as well as provide culinary training in convenient locations for the trainees. All prepared meals meet or exceed nutritional standards outlined by the FDA. This program has been pivotal in reaching the most vulnerable populations of wayfarers in Accra affected severely by the lockdown.

In many places around the world, pandemic-related restrictions caused some incredible innovation for our food banks. Thank you for your support of this work!

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Organization Information

The Global FoodBanking Network

Location: CHICAGO, IL - USA
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @foodbanking
Project Leader:
Global FoodBanking
CHICAGO , IL United States

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