Agency Resources : Become Member Agency

The Greater Boston Food Bank's network of partner agencies play a critical role in ending hunger in our community. Join with us. Learn here how to become a partner agency of GBFB and help to provide one meal a day to those in need.

The Greater Boston Food Bank will review all membership inquiries and make determinations to send out applications based upon poverty statistics, whether an agency is an emergency food provider or a nonemergency food provider and the available resources of The Greater Boston Food Bank.

We welcome eligible member agencies -- together, we can work even harder to combat hunger in our communities, and make a difference for good.

If you meet all of the criteria and are interested in membership or if you have questions about our criteria, please contact the Capacity Team at capacity@GBFB.org or 617.598.5000 Option 4. For more information, please visit the Agency FAQ section.

Criteria for Agency Membership

  • Must be an established and ongoing feeding program, in operation for a period of at least three months and serving the needy at minimum monthly. The program must serve a clientele, the majority of who is low income. Municipalities are ineligible. Written guidelines for distribution must be submitted with the Greater Boston Food Bank application.
  • Must be a public charitable organization with a Federal Non-Profit Tax Exempt Status under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended.
  • Provides on-site and/or emergency food at no cost to individuals who qualify. The Agency must not charge for GBFB items or require donations in exchange for food. Upon GBFB request, the Agency must show proof of funding sources for GBFB items.
  • May seek and accept donations from individuals other than those individuals receiving food. The Agency may not actively solicit donations from clients
  • .
  • Demonstrates ongoing food and fund raising and be financially self-sustaining.
  • Must not sell or exchange GBFB products for money or services, distribute GBFB product to other agencies, or use GBFB items for fund raising purposes. The member agency must provide GBFB items to needy clients and must not use GBFB items for any other purposes.
  • Assumes responsibility for GBFB products after they are removed from any of the GBFB facilities or vehicles. Must have adequate refrigeration, freezer, and dry storage space to insure the safety and wholesomeness of food until used or distributed. Must keep GBFB items distinct from those of other programs, staff, or personal use.
  • Must provide restricted access and lock-up capacity for all GBFB food. Food must be stored in designated food storage areas away from possible sources of contamination. All food storage areas must be kept clean and sanitary. All food must be stored at least six inches off the ground and away from the walls. Grains, cereals, sugars, etc. must be stored in sealed containers to guard against pests. Chemicals and cleaning supplies must be stored separately from food. The Agency agrees to rotate food in storage so that the oldest products are distributed first. No repackaging of food or stockpiling is permitted. No storage is allowed at private homes.
  • Agrees to maintain the proper temperature of all food received, stored, and distributed to clients. Shelf-stable food will be stored between 50°F to 70°F. Refrigerated foods will be stored at 41°F or lower. Frozen foods will be stored at 0°F or lower. The temperature of all food storage areas will be monitored.
  • Must meet all local and state health department requirements and show evidence of compliance within a reasonable period of time upon GBFB request.
  • Agrees to support the operation of the GBFB by contributing a shared maintenance fee on designated items as established from time to time by Feeding America and GBFB and communicated in writing to the Agency.
  • Will provide appropriate transportation to the GBFB, or related distribution sites, and personnel to help load vehicles within a reasonable time.
  • Will keep appropriate records as required by the GBFB and make such records available upon GBFB request. All GBFB invoices must be kept for at least two years.
  • Agrees to a preliminary site visit by a GBFB representative as well as follow-up site visits at least every two years as required by Feeding America so that the relationship may be mutually and periodically evaluated. The Agency acknowledges that such visits may be unannounced.
  • Must receive and distribute GBFB product at least once per month.
  • If an emergency food provider must attend and pass a food safety class or posses a valid Food Protection Manager Certification (e.g. ServSafe®) in compliance with the laws of The Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
  • If it is a congregate meal program, will provide proof of valid food establishment permit and at least one Food Protection Manager Certification, as mandated by Massachusetts's law.
  • If program is an emergency food pantry, will provide proof of valid Permit to Operate as mandated by the laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
  • Serves at minimum eight clients.
  • In order to facilitate the safe distribution of product from GBFB’s warehouse or remote locations, designated shoppers can speak, read and understand English.
  • Must follow the GBFB Accounting Procedures, including timely invoice payment within 30 days, and submit a satisfactory Credit Application.
  • Will require at least one authorized representative, with valid GBFB issued identification card, to be present at each order pick up who will assume responsibility for all agency representatives, including such representatives’ adherence to all GBFB shipping policies and safety practices.
  • Must have access to a computer for on-line ordering and submitting monthly service reports.
  • Will complete and submit a Monthly Service Report within the specified time frame, 12 times per year. GBFB reserves the right to review such records and use these statistics to track hunger trends as needed and agrees to keep such records confidential.

Criteria for Pantry Membership

  • To be eligible for GBFB membership, Agency, or sponsor of the participating pantry, must have been operating as a public charitable non-profit organization with 501(c)(3) status for at least three months.
  • The agency's pantry must have either: (a) Regular posted hours and days of distribution, or (b) A posted delivery schedule to clients’ homes and a regular contact person available by phone during business hours.
  • The agency’s pantry must pick up once per month and distribute to the public at least twice monthly.
  • The Agency must submit written guidelines for distribution with its application for GBFB membership, including pantry operation procedures and procedures for determining eligibility to receive food distributions.
  • Pantry must keep a written log of food distributions, including dates and number of individuals served.
  • Stockpiling of GBFB product is prohibited. All GBFB products are to be distributed within two months from pick up date and rotated on a first in first out basis.
  • If the agency operating a pantry is a CHURCH: (a) The church must have an active congregation, a specific place of worship and regular services. (b) The church must submit to GBFB a valid 501(c)(3) determination letter from the Internal Revenue Service or a letter from the denominational headquarters stating that the church is a member in good standing. (c) The church must not require any person to attend a religious service, make a statement of faith,pledge money, membership and/or volunteer in exchange for food. (d) The church must not use GBFB product for any other programs except those approved by the GBFB. Churches must not use GBFB product for retreats, Sunday school, convents, church fellowship functions or any other institutional uses.
  • Pantry programs must demonstrate willingness to cooperate with other pantries in the area in order to coordinate services and avoid duplication of effort and service. A visit, along with a geographical assessment, will assist GBFB in making a final determination of the need for an additional pantry in the participating pantry's area.
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