SILVER2024

Berkeley Food Network

Getting Food to People Who Need It

aka Berkeley Food Network   |   BERKELEY, CA   |  berkeleyfoodnetwork.org

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Mission

The Berkeley Food Network seeks to end hunger and poor nutrition by using innovative, community-centered solutions to build a more sustainable, resilient, and equitable food system. We value community, equity, collaboration, sustainability, and innovation.

Ruling year info

2017

Executive Director

Andrew Crispin

Main address

1569 SOLANO AVENUE BOX 243

BERKELEY, CA 94707 USA

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EIN

81-4942342

NTEE code info

Food Service, Free Food Distribution Programs (K30)

Recycling (C27)

Citizen Participation (W24)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Blog

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Pre-COVID data showed that about 1 in 5 residents of Berkeley and Albany, CA were living with food insecurity. COVID compounded the rate of hunger in our community, shining a bright light on the role that poor nutrition played in the higher rates of serious COVID illness and death among low-income people. This compelled us to double down on our commitment to distribute only the healthiest foods that our clients were not able to afford to purchase. We believe that people don’t just need calories, they need healthy calories. Through surveys of our clients we learned that they had the most difficulty affording fresh seasonal produce and high-quality proteins. We now intentionally source those nutritious foods for our clients. With current levels of inflation stretching budgets of our clients even further, we are noticing a marked increase in the use of our services.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

The Hub Kitchen

We believe in cooking up creative solutions to reduce food waste. Our Hub Kitchen manager works with a dedicated group of volunteers each week to create delicious meals for community members. Recovered products that are less appropriate for individual consumption (e.g. 20-lb bags of potatoes) are used in our Hub Kitchen to produce roughly 3,000 individually packaged and frozen meals per month, thereby providing ready-to-eat meals for clients who may not have the capacity, equipment, or ability to prepare their own meals — such as seniors and homebound individuals.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people
Immigrants and migrants
Seniors

We believe everyone should have access to healthy, high-quality, and culturally appropriate foods. By emphasizing client choice, we honor dignity and choice for people who use our services. We collaborating with community organizations that serve vulnerable populations to operate mobile pantry distributions. This helps us understand and serve our clients better. Feedback from partners and clients regularly emphasizes the need for healthy, high-quality produce and proteins–so we prioritize procuring those foods for our pantry programs.

Client-choice pantries are the primary vehicle through which we provide food. They are organized like farmers markets so clients can browse and select only the items they desire, thereby increasing individual choice and reducing food waste. In addition to our mobile pantry distributions, we offer a client-choice pantry onsite at our warehouse that is open 22 hours a week.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Children and youth
Ethnic and racial groups
Families
Economically disadvantaged people

We distribute food as a Redistribution Organization (RDO) for the Alameda County Community Food Bank, a formal designation that allows us to redirect food sourced from the Feeding America network to partner food assistance agencies in our immediate community for their own prepared meal and pantry programs. In addition to food from ACCFB, our partners are able to select food sourced through our Food Recovery Program and collectively purchase hard-to-access food items with us.

Population(s) Served

We believe excess food that would normally go to waste is a missed opportunity for producers and consumers alike.

By partnering with farms, retailers, restaurants, and other businesses, we recover over 60,000 pounds of excess food every month, thereby diversifying our sourcing to offer a greater variety of high-quality foods to our clients.

We recover food products at every level of the value chain, including farms, manufacturers and processors, grocers, and restaurants.
Gleaned fruits and vegetables add greater seasonality to our produce selections.

Population(s) Served
Families
Economically disadvantaged people
Adults
Children and youth
Ethnic and racial groups
Families
Economically disadvantaged people
Adults
Children and youth
Ethnic and racial groups
Families
Economically disadvantaged people
Adults
Children and youth
Ethnic and racial groups

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of bags of free nutritious groceries and meals served to low-income households.

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Economically disadvantaged people, Homeless people, Adults, Children and youth, Ethnic and racial groups

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Number of individuals served weekly.

Number of food donation partners

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Ethnic and racial groups, Families, Adults, Children and youth, Economically disadvantaged people

Related Program

Food Recovery Program

Type of Metric

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success

Increasing

Total pounds of food rescued

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults, Children and youth, Ethnic and racial groups, Families, Economically disadvantaged people

Related Program

Food Recovery Program

Type of Metric

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success

Increasing

Estimated dollar value of food donations distributed to community feedings programs

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults, Children and youth, Ethnic and racial groups, Families, Economically disadvantaged people

Type of Metric

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

In dollars.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

The Berkeley Food Network seeks to end hunger and poor nutrition by using innovative, community-centered solutions to build a more sustainable, resilient, and equitable food system. Our goal is to ensure that anyone in Berkeley or Albany, CA who is living with food and nutrition insecurity has access to high-quality nutritious food at no cost.

BFN was founded in 2016 to redesign hunger relief around grassroots partnerships. Before launching, BFN’s founders spent a year listening to community-based organizations in Berkeley and Albany to better understand the local landscape of food insecurity. These relationships laid the groundwork for our impact today; collaborating with partner agencies who are deeply engaged with communities in need to design and deliver services that maximize dignity, respect, and choice for the end client.

The Berkeley Food Network has 4 major areas of work:
1. Providing leadership for our network of 50 member agencies that provide food assistance or other services for the food insecure residents of Berkeley or provide resources for our work.
2. Operating a food sourcing and distribution hub warehouse using Alameda County Community Food Bank food, food recovered through our Food Recovery Program, and food sourced through other channels. This food is redistributed to other food assistance organizations in Berkeley and provides food for BFN's own programs.
3. Partnering with community organizations that serve vulnerable populations to provide mobile pantry distributions to populations not reached by existing food-assistance services at times and locations that are convenient to them; and operating our own on-site pantry which is open long hours.
4. Running a robust food recovery operation that recovers edible food from the waste stream at a larger scale and more regularly than any individual member organization has the capacity to do. This includes our Hub Kitchen program that converts recovered food into meals.

Our food hub warehouse lies at the heart of BFN's work and will allow us to increase the quantity and quality of food available to BFN members and through our own distribution programs. We opened our food sourcing and distribution hub warehouse in September 2019 and became an official Redistribution Organization in June 2021.

Our Executive Director has earned a Masters of Public Policy degree and has expertise in both food security policy and in the management of food assistance programs. Our Director of Operations has extensive warehouse management experience and lived experience of hunger.

We have a dedicated and hardworking board of directors.

We have strong partnerships with our community partners, network agencies, the City of Berkeley, the Alameda County Community Food Bank, and our funders.

We are leasing our warehouse space from the City of Berkeley for $1/month. We have received funding from a private foundation and the Alameda County Community Food Bank to refurbish and furnish the warehouse.

We have begun a robust and successful fund-raising effort, working with local funders and individual donors.

We have build a network of over 80 organizations that provide food assistance or other services to food-insecure residents of Berkeley or that provide resources to the Berkeley Food Network and our food assistance partners.

We have opened our 9,500 square food food sourcing and distribution warehouse and became a Redistribution Organization, authorized to redistribute food sourced from the Alameda County Community Food Bank. In 2021, we recovered nearly 700,000 pounds of excess food from local restaurants, caterers, grocery stores, farms, and food manufacturers.

We have grown our Mobile and On-site Pantry Programs to serve nearly 6,500 people a week.

We have grown our Hub Kitchen Program to prepare 1,000 meals a week using recovered food. These meals are distributed through our Mobile Pantry Program and at our on-site pantry. They are also delivered to homebound individuals.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on demographics (e.g., race, age, gender, etc.), We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We act on the feedback we receive

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback, Don't see clients on a scheduled basis, so hard to get wide range of responses.

Financials

Berkeley Food Network
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

Berkeley Food Network

Board of directors
as of 03/27/2024
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Ms. Deborah Lewis

Dona Boatright

Collaborative Brain Trust

Kate Campbell King

North Berkeley Wealth Management

Susan Choy

Retired

Allen Carr

Franklin Templeton

Mirna Cervantes

Multicultural Institute

Pam Gray

Caroline Bettendorf

Lynn Orme

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? No
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 3/27/2024

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.

Leadership

No data

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

No data

Transgender Identity

No data

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 05/16/2022

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
  • We have a promotion process that anticipates and mitigates implicit and explicit biases about people of color serving in leadership positions.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.