Partner Agency FAQs
How do I get set up as a user?
Your Agency will receive online ordering access information before or immediately after your orientation. If you would like to add users, please email email@example.com with the name of the user including the email address, Agency name and number.
Who should be set up as a user?
We recommend that your Agency Director, Pantry Manager or Food Contact person, and your Cook (if applicable) be set up as users. There is currently no limit on number of users per Agency.
Can I add something to my order after I have submitted my cart?
You may edit any previous order as long as it is at least 3 business days prior to the pickup or delivery time of your previously submitted order and the pencil icon is present.
When will I be notified of my order status?
After ordering through the online shopping system, you will be emailed an acknowledgement letting you know that your order request has been received by the Food Bank. At that time, you may check the order management component of the shopping system for your order status that will say “Acknowledged.” If you have any questions, you may submit a ticket through the online portal.
What are handling fee items (HF)?
Currently NTFB does not charge handling fees for most of our product with the exception for kitted boxed or bagged items. Ex: Family Relief boxes and Kitted produce bags are $2 per kit and may be revised at the discretion of the NTFB Board of Directors.
When is my order due?
Your order is due by close of business three business days before your scheduled delivery time or your chosen pick-up date. Example: I normally receive/ pick up my order on Monday, so my order must be submitted by close of business on the prior Wednesday, allowing Thursday and Friday for my order to be fulfilled.
What if I didn’t place my order in time?
If your order was not placed on time, you can submit an Agency service desk ticket with a request to expedite; upon approval from NTFB staff there will be a service fee of $250 to process that request. If your Agency does not want to incur a service fee, then unfortunately, you will not receive an order due to the policy in place to ensure prompt and accurate orders for every Agency. No exceptions can be made to this policy.
How often is the shopping list updated?
The shopping list is represented in real-time, so items and quantities can change as often as every three minutes. You must refresh the online page in order to see the real-time status of a product. Remember, items are on a first-come, first-served basis. Depending on the number of orders, some items may be out of stock by the time an Agency’s order is processed.
Do I pick up my order by appointment or walk-in?
All orders are processed according to the appointment schedule set in the online shopping system from 6:30am – 3:30pm, Monday through Friday and is selected by the Agency at the time of placing their order.
Can I add something from this week’s shopping list to last week’s order?
Yes, you may edit an order as long as it is before close of business three business days before the delivery or pickup date.
Example: If an order was placed on Thursday to be picked up on Tuesday and there are items that you would like to add, then you may edit your order up to close of business three business days prior to your shipment date which would be Thursday close of business in this example. Saturday and Sunday are not considered business days.
Is it appropriate to tip NTFB staff for their help or support of our agencies?
Although we greatly appreciate your sentiments, it is not appropriate to tip individual staff members for their assistance and support. In fact, personally accepting a gift is against company policy and we ask that employees not be put in a position of having to choose whether or not to accept a personal gift. Tipping an NTFB staff member can jeopardize the recipient’s job and be grounds for loss of Agency membership with NTFB. If you would like to give a donation or contribute in some general way to the Food Bank, please contact the philanthropy department, and they will inform you of any needs and ways in which to donate.
Is it appropriate to give gift cards to NTFB staff to show appreciation?
NTFB staff are not allowed to accept personal gifts or gift cards from partner agencies or their staff. If an Agency wishes to give a personal gift or gift cards, the donation will be immediately given to the Human Resources Director to make the gift available to all staff through a raffle drawing.
Can I bring food and snacks to share with NTFB staff?
It is acceptable to do so if the items are not intended for one particular staff member and will be made available for all NTFB staff.
Do I need to keep my invoices?
Yes, it is a requirement to keep all NTFB invoices with one signature for three years.
What if my invoice is incorrect?
You will need to submit a credit memo request or a service ticket via the Agency service desk at Agency service desk. You will be issued a credit for those items not received if we receive a credit request within three business days of invoice.
What should I do if the driver is late?
We ask that you give the truck 30 minutes past the set time, in case driving conditions or cargo loading causes late arrival. If the truck is over 30 minutes late, submit an urgent Agency service desk ticket and we will provide you with an estimated time of arrival.
How should the produce be divided between the Agencies?
In general, any produce sent in bulk should be dispersed EVENLY between the partners. If a partner needs more or less of the produce, that should be discussed and agreed upon by the partners and not solely decided upon by the Site Coordinator. If you receive produce in bulk to share, NTFB invoices on an Agency rotation to evenly distribute weight for the agencies so no one Agency gets credit for all produce pounds. If any questions of fairness arise, contact your Community Partner Relations representative at firstname.lastname@example.org
Do I need to have my pallet cover when picking up?
All Partner Agency representatives receiving refrigerated products either from the NTFB or group delivery sites will be REQUIRED to use the pallet blanket(s) to transport the goods. Every Partner will receive one blanket at no charge, any additional blankets needed there is a cost associated. If your agency needs a replacement or additional blankets please email email@example.com for those.
Do I have to complete Civil Rights Training every year?
Yes, you must have any staff and volunteers who regularly interact with neighbors, trained on civil rights standards, per USDA guidelines. This training must be conducted yearly, and the time of training is the discretion of the Agency. A training log must be signed for all that attended training and that log must be kept for two years. The training video is available on the Agency Zone Webpage.
How long does a Food Handler and Food Safety Manager Certification last?
Food Handler Certification is good for two years and Food Safety Manager Certification is good for five years. The Food Handler Certification is a requirement for all pantries and Supplemental Programs and the Food Safety Manager Certification is required for all on-site feeding programs (meaning they prepare and serve food at the Agency). All agencies should have one of these certifications.
When do I need a health inspection from the city?
Whenever you are cooking food for others, your kitchen must be inspected by the city or state and must meet their local health regulations if applicable for your city or county. These inspections times may vary; check with your county or city to get their inspection policy. This includes daycares, senior centers, soup kitchens, shelters, and any other program that prepares and serves hot meals.
What do I do if our location changes?
Inform a member of the Community Partner Relations Team immediately for a site evaluation and approval and request an address change from the IRS so they can update your 501(c)3. We will need a copy of their confirmation for our records. Agency must notify NTFB of any changes to their tax status within 30 days.
Can I give food to anyone who looks like they need it?
Food provided by the Food Bank can only be given to neighbors that meet financial eligibility; those levels are provided by the state to us and our member network. In case of one-time emergencies, you may provide food to anyone who states they have a need. Upon a return visit by this person, you will need to gather their household income and compare with the state’s TEFAP income guidelines.
Can we raise funds by using food provided by NTFB?
Food provided by the Food Bank may never be given in return for currency, merchandise, volunteer efforts, or any other in-kind payment system. Any of the above mentioned activities may be grounds for loss of membership with NTFB.
How many times must I update the temperature logs?
Logs must be updated every time your program is in operation or a minimum of twice per week, whichever is more. Logs must be kept on all freezers and refrigerators.
Can we pray or have clients attend a religious service before giving out food?
Religious programming cannot be required for receiving food assistance. Signs and literature can be present and made available at the site as well as invitations to participate in activities after food is provided to neighbors, provided it is made absolutely clear that participation is not mandatory.
What if we want to change our distribution times for neighbors?
Inform the Food Bank immediately if you change distribution times and update your records via “update my account” Bullseye. Remember, NTFB Partner Agency pantries must be open to the public a minimum of once per week for at least three hours in urban areas and minimum of once per month in rural areas for a total of at least three hours per month as stated in your Partner Agency Agreement.
What do I do if I want to begin an additional feeding program?
Please inform the Food Bank of your desire to add a program, and we will inform you of the process of receiving permission and changing your member status. DO NOT use Food Bank product in a program that has not been properly approved by the Food Bank.
When is my monthly report due? What if I fail to turn in my report?
Reports are due by the 5th of each month, for the previous month. If you fail to submit your reports, your account will be placed on hold and you will not be able to place any new orders or receive produce.
What is the purpose of monthly reports?
NTFB uses these numbers to report to Texas Department of Human Services to determine future allocations of USDA commodities. These numbers are also provided to Feeding America to use as hunger facts when procuring food products and lobbying for more funds allocated through Congress.
How do I know that I have correctly submitted my monthly report?
Once you have submitted the report, you will see completed report in my responses section. If your Agency has any edits to make on a submitted report, then you may do so for those reports in the “my reports” section.
What should I do if I am having technical issues with my computer, and cannot transmit my monthly report?
Submit an Agency service desk ticket with all the details to help us better serve you. Since the monthly reports are submitted via Agency Express, you can enter your reports from any computer or mobile device. (Ex: Library, home, or someone else’s computer.)
What questions should I put on my neighbor intake forms to make the monthly reporting process easier
Pantry program intake forms can include names and age breakdown of each household member receiving assistance; on-site feeding programs can gather their numbers based on a sign-in sheet or an intake form.
What do I do if I forget my Agency Express password?
Simply click forgot my password feature on the login page. Submit an Agency service desk ticket if you need assistance finding your username (generally usernames are first initial and last name, ex: dlawson)
What if I do not get my monthly report submitted by the 5th of the month?
Your Agency could get placed on hold until that report is received and entered. If your Agency is placed on hold, please allow up to 24 hours after you have submitted your report for the hold to be removed. That means you will not be able to receive an order or pick up any produce.
Does my login work to access my monthly reports on Agency Express?
Yes, if you have a login to submit orders than you have access to submit monthly reports via Agency Express. However, if you do not have access to submit orders but you need access to submit reports, please send an Agency service desk ticketing requesting access to submit monthly reports only and your login info will be emailed to you once set up.
How much will my Agency be charged to expedite an order?
The following situations will incur a $250 expedite fee:
- Adding or removing item(s) to an existing order past the editing window (order in released status) for Agencies
- Moving an order up to a date less than three business days from the revised delivery/pick-up date
- Requesting a new order be placed for delivery or pick up past the ordering deadline
How much will I be charged for canceling an order after in processing stage?
You will be charged $250 or a restock fee for any orders canceled past the editing window (released status). Any orders canceled after being invoiced will be considered a restock.
If I cannot locate my copy of an invoice, who do I contact for a reprint?
Please be careful to file your invoices so that this is not a recurring event. If you do happen to misplace an invoice, you can e-mail your request to the NTFB Accounting Department at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your Agency name, phone number and the invoice number that you are requesting copies of.
When I make a payment, how do I know that it has been received?
Currently, we do not have a feature that will allow you to see your payment that is received. Look at the following month’s statement to see if the invoices you paid previously are listed as outstanding. For further information on those invoices, please email email@example.com.
When should I expect my statement?
Usually, they are mailed by the 5th of each month. If you do not receive your statement by the 18th, please contact the Accounting Team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What happens if I am past due?
If your Agency account has invoices 61-90 days past due, the Agency will be contacted by email. If your Agency account has invoices over 90 days past due, the Agency will be placed on accounting hold and will not be unable to order or receive food until the account is brought current.
Can I pay in cash?
We do not accept cash or personal checks. You must pay using a company check, cashier’s check, or money order.
Can I view my balance online?
Not at this time.
What is Agency University?
Agency University (AU) is an education program of the North Texas Food Bank (NTFB). Through courses offered at the Food Bank and online, the Agencies learn valuable capacity building skills in various areas of nonprofit development, empowering the Agencies and inspiring organizational growth.
How does participating in AU affect my Agency?
Each AU course is designed to present valuable information in a realistic and accessible way. The skills you can develop include anything from Health and Nutrition best practices to Fundraising strategies and Accounting basics. All you have to do is implement your new skills in your organization after taking the class!
How many classes am I required to take?
The NTFB strongly encourages but does not require, the completion of any AU classes.
How much does it cost to take a class at AU?
AU is completely FREE to all NTFB Partner Agencies!
Where are the sessions held?
AU courses are available online. Refer to the Agency University section of our Partner Agency Resources page for specific course information.
How can I get registered?
Email the email@example.com and request a login. Once we have received the request an email invite will be sent to you from Learn Upon. This link is unique to your email address and you must set up a profile before accessing any courses offered. If you don't receive the invite, please check junk folders for email from Learn Upon.
How can my organization or church get food from the North Texas Food Bank?
The following are necessary in order to become a Partner Agency:
• Be recognized by the Internal Revenue Service as a 501(c) 3 not for profit, charitable organization.
• Offer services directly to the ill, needy, or children (under 18 years), free of charge and with no requirement to attend any kind of service.
• Distribute food as an emergency food box or as a meal or snack prepared on site to be consumed on the premises.
• Continuous operation as a food program for at least 1 month.
• Program sites are treated by licensed pest control at least twice a year.
Complete the pre-screen application found on the Partnership tab in the Agency Zone.
If your pre-screen application is approved, a formal application will be completed, and a site visit conducted. If the formal application grants membership, a second site visit will be conducted, and an invitation to Orientation will be issued.
How should I handle nutrition requests from special needs clients?
Many of your neighbors may be facing health problems such as diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, and obesity. Others may have food allergies, cultural preferences, and cooking limitations. All these factors may affect the appropriateness of the foods your pantry or feeding program provides.
The first step is to know your population. Do your best to know what issues your neighbors are facing and concerned with. While you do not need to cater to everyone individually, simply getting a collective idea of what your neighbors’ needs are will be extremely helpful.
Overall, as a NTFB Partner Agency, you should try to offer the best variety of nutritious foods available, regardless of health needs. If you are doing your best to provide items that are low in fat, sodium, and sugar and those that are high in fiber, vitamins, and minerals, then you are likely meeting the needs of the majority of your neighbors and contributing to better health.
Unhealthy foods are inevitably available but try to limit the frequency and amount offered to neighbors. All foods can be part of a healthy diet in moderation. It is important to balance out your grocery and menu items with more nutritious options whenever possible.
How do I build a healthy package of groceries for a family?
A nutritious grocery package should include components from different food groups, including grains, fruits, vegetables, protein, and dairy. Refer to the samples of food pantry guidelines in the appendix of this guidebook. These guidelines are personalized based on the MyPlate recommendations on gender, age, and activity level. Calorie levels are listed for each individual and converted to family packages. This takes the guesswork out of knowing whether you are giving too little or too much food and ensures that your neighbors are getting the nutritious food they need to nourish their families. Once you know what items to stock your pantry with, it’s easier to make the appropriate decisions when ordering online from NTFB or purchasing groceries from another source.
If you are an on-site feeding program, what components should be included to create a well-balanced meal?
Use Choose MyPlate (choosemyplate.gov/) to plan your on-site meals. Ideally, half your plate should be fruits and vegetables. Focus on whole fruits and vary your vegetables. The more colorful the better! Be sure to make half your grains whole grains as they are higher in fiber and keep you full longer. Mix up your up your proteins to include beans and peas, unsalted nuts and seeds, eggs, lean meats, and poultry. Don’t forget your dairy. Try to focus on low-fat or fat-free milk/yogurt. You might decide to serve all the items separately or to combine some of them in a casserole. For example, you could serve a chicken drumstick with some rice, broccoli, carrots, and a glass of milk, or you could serve spaghetti with meat sauce along with salad and a glass of milk. In the first meal, all the components are served separately. In the second meal, there are three components in the spaghetti (pasta, tomato sauce, and ground meat) and the other components are served on the side.
Meal planning can be a fun and creative activity. If you run out of ideas, try searching recipe sites like hungerandhealth.feedingamerica.org/healthy-recipes/ or visit the Nutrition Services page on NTFB’s website for recipes (ntfb.org/recipes/) and cooking demonstrations (ntfb.org/cookingdemos/).
Why is it important to partner with NTFB to provide nutrition education for your neighbors?
Eliminating hunger takes more than just providing a quick-fix meal. Eliminating hunger requires both short- and long-term solutions including food AND education. Providing nutrition education to low-income neighbors makes a tremendous difference in the quality of their lives.
They learn the life skills needed to cook, shop, and make better food choices, allowing them to feed their families nutritious meals on a budget. NTFB is making an effort to provide quality, nutritious food to those you serve. We also provide ongoing nutrition education classes, workshops, and materials upon request. For our Food Resources Management Courses (Cooking Matters) and for additional workshops or materials, contact the Nutrition Services Team (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Become a Nudge Pantry.
A Nudge Pantry implements nudge strategies (shelf tags, nutrition education signage, recipe cards, food demonstrations, etc.) at their pantry. For more information on becoming a Nudge Pantry, contact the Nutrition Services Team (email@example.com).
What types of sites are eligible to participate in the F4K program?
The Food 4 Kids program is available to elementary school or pre-K centers that act as a primary daily care for children up to 6th grade. While most of our sites are public elementary schools, other types of sites may be eligible as well. Please contact Food4Kids@ntfb.org to determine your eligibility.
How do I sign my site up for the program?
Please contact Food4Kids@ntfb.org to request information on the F4K enrollment process. Initially, your school will be placed on a 'pending' list. A member of the Child Programs team will contact you when we have an opening. Once your site is enrolled you will be contacted to attend a mandatory training session.
Are there eligibility requirements for a child to receive the backpack?
The F4K program is designed to serve only chronically hungry children who are likely not receiving meals over the weekend. A child who is participating in the school’s free and reduced program may not necessarily be chronically hungry. The site coordinator is in charge of asking the child questions suggested in their toolkit if they are unsure if the child is chronically hungry.
What is a Site Coordinator?
The Site Coordinator facilitates the F4K program at a particular site, and acts as the primary contact person to the NTFB and Child Programs Department.
What is a F4K Toolkit?
The F4K Toolkit is the training binder that each Site Coordinator receives upon attending training. The Toolkit contains all the necessary resources and instructions needed in order to facilitate the program.
When and where do I pick up my order?
The pickup location is at the PFC warehouse, at 3677 Mapleshade Lane Plano, TX 75075.
Pickups can be made during these times:
- Monday-Friday: 7:00 am –12:00 pm and 1:00 pm- 3:00 pm
- All pickups will take place on northwest side of the building (back of building)
- Take 2nd entrance off Maplshade Lane, the southwest side of building
- Go on the side of the building to the left to get to the back (Agency entrance)
- Please watch for pedestrians
- Agency parking is alongside the back of the building, in parking spots located in front of dock doors #22-25
- Back into any of those spots; leave space between your vehicle and building for product to be brought to you
- Check in with NTFB staff through the agency entrance
What should I do if I find expired or damaged food in my order?
Please take a couple photos of expired or damaged food and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include how many pallets and bags were impacted, your school name, and any additional information like your order confirmation number and best by date (if applicable).
You will occasionally find expired food in your order. This is a standard, accepted practice among the Feeding America Network of Food Banks. NTFB works with food donors to secure quality assurance letters prior to accepting out of date donations. Please note, best by/sell by/expired by dates all have different meanings, so if you are unsure about the food in your order, please send photos to email@example.com before throwing away food. We will be able to advise you on the safety of the food and recommended next steps.
Will there be someone at the NTFB to help me load my order into my car?
While our warehouse employees are often willing to help wherever they can, we cannot guarantee that an employee will be available to help you at pick-up. If you are not able to load your own vehicle, please bring someone with you to assist.
Is there an option to have our orders delivered to our site?
Currently, we are not offering delivery. We do encourage and allow you to coordinate group pick-ups with other schools in your district if that is more convenient for you.
Where do I store the food once I get it back to my site?
All food must be stored at least 6 inches off the ground and in an area where others do not have access. This can either be a closet, room, or cabinet.
When do I distribute the food to the students?
Please distribute the food to your students every Friday or the last day children attend on any given week. It is best to pass out the food at the end of the day so the children do not open the bag or eat the food while in school.
Am I required to use the backpacks provided by the NTFB?
You are not required to use the backpacks provided by the NTFB, but you must place the sack of food in some type of bag so that it is not visible to others. You can use the child’s own backpack if you wish, or some other type of bag or tote.
Do I have to obtain parent permission before I distribute food to a student?
The NTFB does not require that you obtain parent permission. However, if you do choose to require parent permission, please send the permission slip home either before you begin distributing, or during the first week of distribution.
What reports do I have to submit to the NTFB?
The only report your site needs to submit to the NTFB is your F4K Monthly Report. This report is submitted online and is due by the 5th of each month for the previous month.
Will my site be monitored?
Yes, but not each year. All site visits will be scheduled in advance, and follow-up emails will be sent outlining any necessary action that needs to be taken.
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