Trying to get to Detroit, creator of both techno music and the ice cream soda, to attend the Feeding America National Summit.
I believe this will be a significant conference for how the network moves forward. Feeding America has been charging hard for the last few years to develop its national brand, introduce new technology and food safety standards. Sometimes it has been a struggle for them to take all of the 202 network food banks in the direction they have advocated. Food bankers are an independent, eccentric bunch (I know, I am one) and sometimes it is like herding cats to get them to want to follow any national direction.
Feeding America has taken its own knocks in the last year, with some attrition of staff, and a reappraisal of priorities in a situation where they are working hard to avoid a budget deficit. It will be interesting to see what effect this has on the dynamics of the dialogue between national office and the membership.
There has already been considerable collaboration by various teams of staff and members tasked with exploring different priority areas as part of the strategic plan refresh. This has produced a large number of potential activities in each area. This summit will still be about obtaining membership input into the process, so we have yet to see how these priorities can be finally agreed on and acted upon.
I hope to be interviewing a range of people at the conference for this blog. I encourage you to check out the pages in the drop down menus at the top of this page, which contains a lot of information about the approach of this blog.