How Food Banking Kenya’s programs grew exponentially in just one year
February 15, 2022
Since 2017, Food Banking Kenya (FBK) has been increasing access to food in Kenya. GFN works alongside FBK by advising the development of special programs and providing funding to strengthen operations and feed more people across the country.
While COVID-19 drove up hunger rates exponentially, FBK distributed almost 8,000 percent more food in 2020 over the year prior. FBK was able to successfully adapt its operations and programs because of its committed, innovative, and agile leaders, and its strong partnership with GFN.
Here are some ways FBK expanded amid the pandemic:
Growing the produce recovery program
FBK partners with producers like Westrift Farm in Naivasha, Kenya, to recover surplus produce from fields, ensuring that edible, nutritious food does not go to waste. Last year, FBK recovered over 296,000 kilograms of food from commercial farms, small-scale farmers, and processing facilities.
Workers from Westrift Farm process beans that will be donated and distributed by FBK. Through mentorship from FoodForward South Africa, a fellow GFN-supported food bank that boasts a robust agricultural recovery program, FBK learned how to develop partnerships with more food producers to strengthen their agricultural recovery activities. This relationship was made possible through GFN’s Africa Incubator Program, which seeks to accelerate the development of young food banks like FBK.
Beans, potatoes, tomatoes, and other products, are distributed to a community in Nairobi, Kenya. In 2022, FBK will expand its agricultural recovery program to recover food from rural farmer depots and establish more delivery routes.
Expanding programs to feed students
Schoolchildren eat a nutritious lunch provided by FBK. FBK’s school feeding program has expanded to serve about 5,000 children in nine schools across Nairobi, a significant growth in just 14 months.
FBK participates in GFN’s Child Hunger Program and receives funding and training to develop successful programs with organizations that serve children. FBK launched the first school feeding program in November 2020 with GFN’s support.
FBK supports community organizations like Brilliant Angels Education Center by providing fresh produce, grains, and other food items for school meals. These meals encourage children to attend school and promote healthy growth and development.
Increasing food storage
Volunteers organize crates of recovered produce in FBK’s new warehouse in Ruaka. Prior to expansion, FBK’s first warehouse was a small room with a few pallets to stack food and a table for packing food parcels.
With financial support from GFN over the past year, FBK purchased several refrigerated trucks and moved into a larger warehouse with a custom cold storage room, space outfitted with industrial racks and shelving, and a power generator.
Through increased infrastructure, FBK was able to distribute 880,000 kilograms of food in 2020, an exponential increase over the year prior. “GFN’s support [during COVID-19] was timely,” said Moses Nyoro, manager of operations. “It enabled us to increase our capacity, [hire] support staff, [and] start rescuing food from both farms and pack houses [to ultimately serve more people].”
The rapid growth of Food Banking Kenya highlights the tenacity and dedication of its leaders.
As the organization continues to strengthen food relief efforts, GFN is proud to partner with the food bank and support its work. Learn more about Food Banking Kenya.