First Steps in Starting a Food Pantry

Here is how to start your food pantry:
  • Be open for a minimum of 2 hours a month to the public.
  • Post a sign for the public to see it (the sign can but does not have to include an emergency contact number).
  • Start giving out food and count the number of people served.
  • Keep receipts if you purchase food.

Once up and operating for 12 months, serving a minimum of 50 families six of the twelve months and filling the void in the community, please fill out a Potential Partner Agency Form.

If approved, you will fill out an Application for Membership. The agency will be required to attend an ETFB Orientation training and a site visit by East Texas Food Bank staff.

Ask yourself these questions first:
  • Does your Agency have enough financial, staff and/or volunteer support to maintain all aspects of a food assistance program?
  • Does your Agency have a physical space to designate for the sole purpose of food storage and distribution?
  • Is your Agency’s Board of Directors or governing body supportive of a food assistance program?
  • Is your Agency willing and able to be open to the public during a time that is convenient for those in need in your community, not to overlap with operating hours of existing food assistance programs in the community?
  • Is your Agency willing and able to comply with all program and training requirements of the Food Bank?