A Network Partner Area Council (NPAC) is a collaboration of neighboring Maryland Food Bank network partners who work together to eliminate food insecurity in a specific geographic area. The location-based grouping of pantries, soup kitchens and shelters is designed to address hunger on a holistic level.
How do NPACs work?
The Maryland Food Bank forms each NPAC, inviting network partners to join together with neighboring pantries and community organizations. Once established, NPAC members meet regularly—typically once a month—to discuss how they can collectively improve their services, outreach and impact in their community.
NPAC organizations try to coordinate their hours of operation to minimize overlap and ensure that clients have access to food assistance as many days of the week as possible.
While MFB’s niche is food-assistance, NPACs often work together to provide gateway services, including health, housing, and employment. NPAC collaboration ensures that clients can be directed to the appropriate agency to receive help.
Through their direct contact with clients, NPACs can also act as advocates for those they serve, providing the Maryland Food Bank with insight on how we can better support/serve their communities.
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Why are NPACs effective?
Being part of a Network Partner Area Council strengthens each participating agency. Within each NPAC, experienced agencies can share expertise and best practices with new partners, reducing the learning curve and expediting positive growth within the community. As a group, each NPAC is stronger than the sum of its parts and can offer more effective advocacy and action in the community. Currently more than 116 network partner agencies and 16 other community organizations actively participate in 15 different NPACs. This number is projected to grow in the coming years.