The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts periodically offers special training sessions to our member agencies, which include a range of topics designed to secure the success of your organization. Below are links to materials from previous sessions.

Required Trainings for Everyone

Essential Info for Agencies

This training is a great introduction to everything Food Bank related for new volunteers and staff as well as a good refresher. The training covers: Food Bank structure and policies, points of contact at The Food Bank, monthly reports and more.

This training is required for new Primary Program Contacts. To fulfill this requirement you can attend the training in person, or you can watch the recording of the training and complete an online quiz. You can find links to the video recording of the training and the quiz below.

Essentials Training Slides

Essentials Training Video Recording

Essentials Training Quiz

Essentials Guide

If you have any questions about this training, please reach out to

Online Ordering

This training is designed to walk you through how to place an order online, as well as address common mistakes and issues you might face while placing an order.

This training is required for new Primary Program Contacts. To fulfill this requirement you can attend the training in person, or you can watch the recording of the training and complete an online quiz. You can find links to the video recording of the training and the quiz below.

Online Ordering Training Recording

Online Ordering Quiz

Online Ordering User Guide

Site-Specific Required Trainings

Required Trainings for USDA Programs

USDA food is an abundant source of nutritious food that is free of any charges and is available to all Emergency Programs. It also comes with a lot of requirements… and a lot of paperwork. We know, it can be confusing! Contact for more information.

This training will help you make sense of it all! We’ll explain the rules around:

  • Storage
  • Signage
  • Sign-in sheets
  • Reconciliation forms
  • Income requirements
  • … And more!

Be sure to read through this presentation with your Essentials Guide handy. Don’t have one, or don’t know what that is? Email the Agency Relations team at to get your copy!

USDA Training Video Recording 2023

Essentials Guide

USDA Sold/Exchanged Sign

USDA Training Slides

USDA Training Quiz

Agency Conference 2024

Presentation Slides & Additional Resources

Creating Sustainable Programs

Disaster Planning

It is strongly recommended that all agencies have a Disaster Plan. The resources below are from previous trainings which share information about how to plan for disasters and how to write Disaster Plans. These trainings help you think about disasters at a local and regional level, and share questions for you to consider when creating a Disaster Plan for your agency. Completed plans can be submitted via email at If you have questions about or want support in writing your Disaster Plan, please email Naomi at

2021 Disaster Plan Training Slides

Home Emergency Supply List

Agency Basic Disaster Plan

Mission Statement Resources

A mission statement is important for your program to have for a couple of reasons:

  • Can provide a useful “north star” to guide your program’s board, staff, and volunteers when considering projects, proposals, and actions.
    • Example, “How does this fit with our mission?‌
  • Concisely explains who you are, and what you do, to donors and funders. Many grant applications will ask you to succinctly state the mission of your program.

If your program already has a mission statement, we encourage you to revisit it. And if not, we encourage you to create one! Here are some resources to get you started…

  • “How to Write the Ultimate Non-Profit Mission Statement” from The explains why having a mission statement is important and provides a few tips and best practices to help you craft one for your organization.
  • “How to Write a Mission Statement for a Non-Profit Organization” from WikiHow gives a step-by-step process for writing a mission statement for your program.

If you’re feeling stuck, please feel free to reach out to the Agency Relations team here at The Food Bank at

Food, Nutrition, and Dignity

Food Safety and Culturally Appropriate Foods

These resources are based on The Food Bank’s Summer 2022 Food and Dignity agency training series. The following resources are intended to help food pantries and meal sites empower their clients through the dignity of choice.

Food and Dignity 2022 Video Recording

Food and Dignity 2022 Slides

Client Choice

In a traditional pantry, clients are offered a pre-packed bag/box of food, which may contain many items that clients do not need or cannot use. Offering clients more choice about the foods they receive from your program is a great way to make your program more client-centered by allowing THEM to choose the foods they want and need for their families.

Client Choice Presentation 2022 Recording

Client Choice Presentation 2022 Slides

Client Choice Example 1

Client Choice Example 2

Client Choice Example 3

Trauma Informed Practices

Resilience Roadshow Slides

Trauma Informed Training Recording

Note: This training covers the topic of trauma and can be overwhelming. Please do what you need to do to prepare and care for yourself. Consider setting up a comfortable space to view the recording. Gather items like stress balls, a drawing pad, and/or a drink and snack to have nearby.

Spread the Health: Nutrition Basics for Pantries and Meal Sites

In this training you’ll learn about healthy eating using the MyPlate model, what to look for when reading a nutrition label, tips for moderating sugar and salt, and more! Our hope is that you’ll share this information with your clients to help them make healthier choices with the foods they choose at the grocery store… and maybe they’ll try a box or two of whole wheat pasta from your pantry, as well.

Spread the Health Slides

Making Common Pantry Products Healthier

Food Allergies

Sugar Substitutes

Website Resources Handout

Fundraising and Grant Writing

Fundraising for the Future

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many organizations have had to completely change the way they raise funds. When in-person events are not possible, how can we continue to raise the funds needed for a program to continue to thrive? Below are resources from the 2021 Agency Conference Fundraising for the Future workshop, including slides from the presentation and a tool to help you learn more about donor fundraising.

Fundraising for the Future Workshop Slides

Donor Comparison Tool

Grant Writing Resources

Below are resources from past trainings on how to find grants, determine your eligibility, and put together a persuasive application.

Grant Writing for Beginners Recording

Grant Writing for Beginners Slides

Should I apply for a grant?: A question guide

Media, Communications, and Security

Media Outreach & Communications

Learn how to write press releases and media advisories to receive media coverage for your work.

Dissecting a Press Release Slides

Helpful links to make the most of your Facebook page:

Facebook 101

How to Set Up a Facebook page

Volunteer Management

Volunteer Recruitment & Retention

Volunteer retention and recruitment strategies are linked in many ways. Just as a sturdy house depends heavily on a solid foundation, the likelihood of attracting invested, long-term volunteers depends on the steps taken to recruit them. Retention is also greatly impacted by the experience a volunteer has while at your organization.

If you can maintain a long-term corps of volunteers, your program can get more done for less money and increase your organization’s overall visibility.

  • This training, presented by the Massachusetts Service Alliance will:
  • Review steps non-profits can take to ensure they are recruiting the right individuals for the right volunteer roles and helping to set volunteers up for long-term success.
  • Review strategies to create a positive volunteer experience from beginning to end.
  • Discuss current trends in volunteerism that impact both recruitment and retention of volunteers.

Developing a Recruitment Strategy

Social Motivators for Volunteers

Training and Orientation Worksheet

Keeping Them Coming: Strategies to Find & Retain High Quality Volunteers

Volunteer Position Description Worksheet

For further resources on volunteer management and developing a rewarding, engaging, and effective volunteer program, please see the links below, compiled from the Massachusetts Service Alliance by workshop panelist and experienced Volunteer Coordinator Pat Sicard of RSVP of Hampshire and Franklin Counties:

Creating a Targeted Recruitment Message

Intake Techniques for Long Term Volunteer Engagement

Obtaining Staff Acceptance & Support for Your Volunteer Program

Assessing your Volunteer Program

For further information and more helpful tip sheets, Pat recommends visiting the Mass. Service Alliance website.

Lastly, we hope you’ll use the following Action Plan worksheet to help you develop any ideas you may have regarding changes to your volunteer program. You can find a blank copy of the action plan here:

Action Plan

Volunteer Handbooks

This workshop covers why Volunteer Handbooks are important and the basics of how to write one. The training touches on how to organize your handbook to make it clear and understandable and important policies and procedures to include.

Volunteer Handbook Training Recording

Volunteer Handbook Training Slides

Amherst Survival Center Volunteer Handbook 2019-2020