Lagos Food Bank Initiative is a private owned and controlled organisation founded by Michael Sunbola who serves as the organisations’ president. LFBI is committed to fighting hunger, reducing food wastage, and improving nutrition outcomes of special individuals such as pregnant women, infants, and people with special needs. In the organisation’s four years of operation, they have reached over 120 communities and impacted more than 1 million Lagos lives including households.
Presently they have about 5 active programs including Edufood for school pupils, Temporary Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP), Nutrition Intervention for Diabetes Self-management (NIDS), Nutritious Meal Plan Intervention for Vulnerable Mothers and Children (NUMEPLAN), and Family Farming.
They also started a job placement project last year and have joined in the fight against COVID-19 by providing timely response. Through its network of about 10,000 volunteers, LFBI is able to carry out facilitated outreach programs, especially in communities where programs would normally not reach. These volunteers range from artisans, entertainers, medical professionals, ect. who also engage community members according to their specialisations and skills.
Although their goal is to fight hunger and improve nutrition in target communities, the by-product of their operations is poverty alleviation, serving as glimmer of hope and light to those abandoned communities in the creeks of Lagos state. Speaking to one of her volunteers who chose to remain anonymous, sometimes there are no motorable roads to many of the communities and they have to walk several minutes carrying packaged food items, clothes, etc. down to the outreach venue. “But even when that happens, we’re always happy to do it. The organisation has given us a chance to help people and we don’t take it for granted, we are finding purpose and fulfilment through volunteering,” she added.
LFBI now boasts several partnerships with high-profile brands, but it didn’t use to be the case initially. They originally set off by seeking donors, with the volunteers making up a large percentage of all donated items including cash, clothes, toys, books, food items, etc. However, through dedication to the cause, transparent administration, and strategic management, LFBI is now partners with global brands like Access Bank, Union Bank, iTel, Rite Foods, Unilever, Dow, Malta Guiness, Amstel, Promasidor, Dangote, Bloomberg, Kellogs, Nestle, The Global FoodBanking Network, and the Oando Foundation to name but a few on the list.
Volunteers and individual donors are still free to contribute of course, but through these partnerships, LFBI has been able to expand her programs and ensure higher impacts on targeted communities. Although their name is synonymous with Lagos, LFBI is absolutely independent and not connected with the Lagos state government.
It is indeed amazing to see organisations like the LFBI, especially in these times when many households struggle to have even a square meal per day. The hope now, is that with LFBI’s blueprint and massive achievements in such a short time, many other indigenous organisations will spring up in various parts of the country with as much dedication to finding solutions to the persistent problems in our various communities and the society at large.
To learn more about the LFBi, visit their website here.