As we all know, the last several years have brought us many challenges and hurdles that together we have had to overcome, to keep doors open and provide much needed food assistance supports to our neighbors.
We have been fortunate during this time to have the financial and food resources, such as COVID supported TEFAP and CFAP, necessary to meet our communities’ need but now we need to begin to reset. I’m sure that many of you are doing the same. We are seeing less funding coming in for food assistance, yet we are seeing increased demand and need from our communities. FBNN is working on our food sourcing strategy for the upcoming 12-24 months and we need your help as we plan.
As those of you who have received TEFAP over the past 3 years know, the volume of TEFAP at its peak was over 8 million pounds of food. We have seen a steady decline in federal commodities nationwide the last 6-8 months and we are on track to have TEFAP volumes look similar to 2018. This is about a 5-million-pound decline from 2020/2021. We can’t simply buy food to replace these pounds, so we have to be more strategic in what we buy, how we buy and what you need and can financially support. In addition, we need to make sure that we are utilizing our partnerships such as local grocery stores. Partnerships with stores are a great way to access fresh, perishable food, but requires you to commit to using Meal Connect and reporting consistently. We have work to do here, and your partnership is necessary.
The survey below is intended to help us as we build our sourcing and procurement plan for this year. It’s critical that we hear from you. This is a PARTNERSHIP and in order for this partnership to work, two-way communication is needed. If you don’t respond to the survey, we will reach out and call you. If we are unable to connect with you, it will impact your ability to be eligible for any upcoming capacity or technology grants.
Thank you everyone!! We value our partnership with each of you, and we know how important your work is to the neighbors and communities that you support.