FFEN in the Field Updates

We often share the impact of our engagements with Food Shelves, but did you ever wonder how these engagements begin? It’s simply an introduction call!

When we first hear from a food shelf that they’d like to learn about partnering with FFEN for support, we set up an introduction call. This call allows FFEN staff and food shelf leaders to discuss the food shelf’s operations, any challenges or pain points they may be having, and how FFEN may be able to assist. It helps us figure out the next steps and pair an amazing volunteer or two with the food shelf project.

In June, we had a number of introduction calls that showed us there are many different reasons that food shelves contact FFEN.


New Creation Ministries

New Creations Ministries in Minneapolis was referred by The Food Group to help change their model from outside distribution to client choice, a model we see many food shelves shifting to now that we are post-pandemic. During the introduction call, we learned about the ways they had provided their community with fresh, equitable and predictable food during the past year, and knew that we could assist them with their layout and model shift, as well as, finding ways to ensure their volunteer program is sustainable.


Hometown Resource Center

The new Executive Director for Hometown Resource Center in St. Charles reached out in June as well. He is only in his first couple months on the job and looking for assistance in capacity building. FFEN has supported Hometown Resource Center in previous years, and he wanted to better understand our organization and how we can continue to be a resource for them. His vision is to increase staffing at the food shelf, so we paired him with a grant writing volunteer to assist with funding opportunities.


Winona Volunteer Services

Winona Volunteer Services received a Food Sourcing Analysis (FSA) from FFEN back in March as part of our work with Channel One Regional Food Bank. They reached out to see if we could include food they sourced locally into their FSA Report, so we set up an introduction call to discuss their request and learn more about their food shelf operations. We are preparing an updated FSA Report for them, as well as visiting their space to give feedback on their layout and flow.


We will often suggest an introduction call, even if a food shelf has a very clear ask. It is common that through these calls we will identify additional ways that we can support the food shelf. It also gives us the context that we need to fully understand their ask.

The introduction call is only a start to the tailored services we provide, but sets the stage for our customized engagements in a way that an email can’t.

If you are interested in having an introduction call to kick off your engagement with FFEN, please email jennymoore@ffen.org.