Interested in Partnership?
Feeding Northeast Florida partners with over 150 hunger-relief organizations and programs throughout 8 counties in Northeast Florida. Our goal is to use these partnerships and our own programs to provide fresh, healthy food to families who struggle to put food on the table. By working with other organizations who are rooted in their communities, we can ensure that our outreach to these neighborhoods and families is as deep as it is wide.
We focus our new partnerships on organizations that share our mission and focus on providing food and giving families the tools, information, or services they need to break the cycle of poverty. Through our partnerships, we are investing over 12.5 million meals into Northeast Florida each year, and supporting organizations that offer services such as emergency shelter, low-cost housing, medical and dental services, after-school programming, job training, mental health counseling, drug and alcohol rehabilitation, and other services that can help a family get back on their feet after crisis.
All Feeding Northeast Florida partners and programs are 501(c)3 non-profit organizations or religious institutions that are selected, trained, monitored, and resourced for the purpose of serving the ill, needy, or children, through the provision of direct service to the hungry, and do not redistribute product to any other entity. Below you will find a checklist of our minimum requirements. If your agency does not or cannot meet these requirements, you will not be considered a candidate for partnership. If your organization has supplementary, unique strengths not requested on the application, please be sure to detail them.
In addition to these minimum requirements, all potential partnerships are evaluated on their capacity to safely and efficiently receive, store, and distribute healthy, fresh perishable food, the number of households and clients you do and can serve, whether there is any network duplication in your service area, and/or whether your service area is an underserved area (food desert) or serves an underserved population.
All organizations should consider the following aspects of partnership before completing the application:
- Before investing your organization’s resources in starting a feeding program, investigate the local food resources. Feeding Northeast Florida can advise you of partner agencies that are already established in your area. Visit our Food Assistance Locator for locations near your organization, or contact United Way 211 hotline. Gathering more information about your community and the resources already available will help you decide when and how you can best serve your community.
- Potential partners must share our mission to feed the hungry. Identify the population you expect to serve, the level of need in your area, and consider the best way to serve this population.
- All agency partners must have a 501(c)3 Letter of Determination from the IRS, or maintain status as a religious institution.
- Potential partners must be able to store perishable and dry food safely and securely on the premises of the agency. The food received from Feeding Northeast Florida must be used to feed the ill, needy, or children. It is not to be used for general church or organizational activities.
- Potential partners should consider the funding requirements of maintaining the feeding program. The costs to run an effective and efficient pantry include shared maintenance fees, staffing, transportation, pest control, costs of photocopying, cleaning supplies, equipment costs, thermometers, storage containers, carts, etc.
- Every feeding program requires dedicated staff or volunteers to run efficiently. Consider your current staff workload or available volunteers. The following tasks will need to be performed regularly: Shopping at FNEFL warehouse, stocking food on shelves or in refrigerator/ freezer units, assisting with client intake, maintaining record keeping requirements and reports, cleaning and maintaining the food pantry according to outlined food safety guidelines, attending meetings and trainings, etc.
- Potential partners will need reliable and consistent transportation for collecting food. Vehicles used for food collection must be adequate in size and well-maintained to ensure the integrity of the food being transported.
- Potential partners must be open to serve the walk up public at least one day per month, unless serving only housed residents of your program. The pantry must implement a set of guidelines regarding who you will help, how often they can receive help, and how much food will be distributed per family. The IRS guidelines clearly state that no client should be required to make a donation, attend a religious service, or work in exchange for food. This includes expressly stated and/or implied participation in exchange for food.
- Partner agencies must have internet access and the ability to communicate (receive and send emails, reporting, online ordering, etc.) easily and often via the internet. Partners are required to respond to FNEFL email communications and requests in a timely fashion.
If you believe that your organization can comply with the outlined requirements, please follow the below checklist to submit your application. We accept applications for new agencies year-round, but only onboard new agencies four times per year: January, April, July, and October. Once your application is received, it will be time stamped and reviewed to determine eligibility. We only review complete applications.
The following documents are required for a complete application:
- Complete and sign the Agency Application
- Read, initial, and sign the FNEFL Agency Agreement. Discuss the expectations and requirements with your entire team and leadership. It is crucial that your entire team works together as a unit to manage your food program properly and remain in compliance with the guidelines outlined here.
- Include a copy of a current Food Handler’s certificate that is held by a representative from your feeding program.
- Include a copy of your Federal 501(c)3 Designation Letter from the IRS. The IRS 501(c)3 letter is often confused with other forms or documents. Be sure you have the correct document. This letter is directly from the IRS and clearly identifies your organization as a 501(c)3.
- Include proof of pest control services within the past month. This can be a copy of your most recent receipt, or a signed letter from the pest control company affirming that you receive routine services.
- Two letters of reference from a citizen or agency outside your organization
Once you have completed and compiled all these documents, please submit to firstname.lastname@example.org or mail to 1116 Edgewood Ave N Unit D/E Jacksonville, FL 32254.
After your application is processed, a team member will contact you about the final two steps for partnership.
- Initial Site Inspection of your facility: a representative from Feeding Northeast Florida will visit your site to see where you will store the food received from FNEFL and verify that all proper food handling measures, record keeping procedures, and client registration processes are in order.
- Complete a New Agency Training course. This course is a 1.5 hour course that teaches shopping rules, online ordering procedures, and reporting requirements. Partnership begins upon completion of this course.
Please remember that a submitted application does not guarantee partnership. Many variables go into the selection of new partner agencies and we reserve the right to prioritize placement based on criteria we have developed through continuing research, our established relationships within the service area, our partnership with Feeding America and current community needs assessments. You are always welcome to contact us at any time if you have questions.