A Strategic Plan to Guide Our Work
Responding to Change
In the current environment, the work of the Food Bank is more important than ever. During the period of our last strategic plan, 2009-2012, the prevelance of food insecurity and hunger reached a ten-year high due to soaring unemployment and growing poverty.
As the need for food assistance skyrocketed, available resources declined. Congress cut emergency food and shelter grants that go directly to our member agencies. The state of Rhode Island significantly reduced funding for the Food Bank. USDA commodity supplies were cut back, and donations from local supermarkets to the Food Bank decreased by 20 percent due to competition and greater efficiency in the food industry.
The following chart shows the increase in the number of people served at food pantries from 2008 to 2013.
While the need for food assistance has nearly doubled inthe last five years, food donations have declined significantly. The following chart shows the decreasing amount of food donated to the Food Bank between 2009 and 2014 (projected).
Click here to download a pdf of the Food Bank's complete 2013-2015 Strategic Plan.
Our Guiding Principals
- Community: The Food Bank is successful because of broad public support and a sturdy network of member agencies. We can never take the public trust for granted, and we have to ensure the network remains strong, even in tough economic times.
- Quality: The Food Bank must feed people well because good nutrition is critical to good health. We strive to offer the most nutritious food possible to those in need. Helping people obtain access to the federal nutrition programs and encouraging them to shop and cook wisely will have positive long-term consequences on public health, well-being and quality of life.
- Sustainability: The crucial work of the Food Bank will go on far beyond the three years mapped out by this strategic plan. We have to operate the Food Bank as efficiently as possible and build ongoing support for all of our programs. This means attracting new donors, new volunteers and advocates, even as we deepen the commitment of our current supporters.
Strategic Plan 2013 - 2015
The three principles stated above have guided us through the strategic planning process, and we have examined all of our programs and services in light of these tenets. The goals and objectives presented in our strategic plan are the product of this careful assessment and re-evaluation of our work. We believe this strategic plan gives us an exciting and useful map for the Food Bank through 2015.
- Goal One: Target assistance to those populations most vulnerable to hunger.
The number of people seeking assistance at emergency food pantries in Rhode Island grew by an unprecedented 58 percent over the last four years. However, during the same period, food donations decreased as part of a national trend toward greater efficiency in the food industry, leaving less surplus food available for donation. Donated food is now a precious and limited resource and must be supplemented by food purchasing. Therefore, we should ensure that food assistance is directed to those at high risk for hunger.
- Objective: Maintain annual distribution at 17 million meals through the Food Bank's network and increase the number of meals going to households with children and seniors to one-half of the total.
- Objective: Work with state agencies and other partners to increase participation in the federal nutrition programs by 10 percent to reduce the meal gap.
- Objective: Develop and implement a broad-based plan to provide assistance to seniors that includes emergency food, federal nutrition program outreach, improved access to social service programs and nutrition education.
- Objective: Expand the Food Bank's overall nutrition education programming.
- Goal Two: Build on the reputation and history of the Food Bank to increase support through innovative campaigns for funds and food.
- Objective: Exceed the three-year revenue projection by 10 percent through new fundraising and marketing campaigns.
- Objective: Conduct an innovative campaign to boost food drive donations to 1 million pounds.
- Objective: Conduct a legislative campaign to significantly increase the state's annual commitment of funds for the Food Bank to acquire food.
- Increase Board engagement through an annual self-assessment and fundraising plan.
- Goal Three: Ensure a sustainable food distribution network.
- Objective: Create geographic contingency plans for maintaining the distribution system.
- Objective: Create an educational series that includes workshops, special training, peer training and one-on-one training for Member Agencies and agency personnel.
- Objective: Expand the regional forum work to all high-need cities with a strong focus on Providence as the area with the highest concentration of agencies.