The Food Shelf Leader Cohort offers participants a values-informed framework for improved organizational effectiveness, change management, and community engagement. Food shelf leaders wear multiple hats and this series provides space to learn and test out adaptive leadership skills and promising practices in the non-profit hunger relief space. Take a fresh look at your role and organization alongside other food shelf leaders!  

This virtual learning lab is designed to spark collaboration and peer learning. Cohort members will participate in small group conversations, reflections, and problem-solving scenarios, intended to equip you to advance your organization’s impact and values.

2023 Spring – Additional Details 

The daily demands of running a food shelf leave little time for planning, assessing operational effectiveness, or networking. The Food Shelf Leader Cohort provides a dedicated space for Minnesota food shelf leaders to build relationships and learn with their peers in the field. We recommend participating food shelf leaders have a minimum of six months in their current operations role to be able to have a clear understanding of the organization’s current climate and conditions.

Cohort Commitment

To have the best experience as a member of the Food Shelf Leader Cohort, attendees are expected to prioritize attending all six online sessions. Given the time commitment, we want to provide additional details to assist in determining if this experience is the right fit for you and your organization. If you are unable to participate in the 2023 Spring Cohort, we plan to offer the same cohort series again and we can keep you informed of upcoming dates.

  • The 2023 Spring Cohort begins April 7 and runs through June 16 for six sessions (15 total online hours).
  • Sessions are held on Zoom every other Friday, from 9am to 11:30am.
  • Between cohort meetings, additional resources connected to session content will be provided. You are encouraged to review outside of sessions but utilization of these resources will not impact your participation in the cohort.
  • Participants are encouraged to attend the introductory session, Welcome to Hunger Relief, which gives a high-level overview of the hunger relief sector.

Cohort Participant Expectations:

Individuals interested in participating in the Food Shelf Leader Cohort should review the following expectations:

  • Engaged participation in all six sessions
  • Support from supervisor and organization to participate
  • Agree to Shared Agreement developed by cohort (Example Agreement Here)
  • Ask questions and share experiences to support peer sharing in sessions
  • Provide evaluation feedback on sessions to support continuous improvement of this experience
  • Submit Cohort Application by the following deadline: Friday, March 24, 2023
  • Sign FFEN Engagement Agreement to allow for social media sharing and access to food bank ordering data

Thanks to funding from the Minnesota Department of Health, participants in the 2023 Spring Food Shelf Leader Cohort will receive a $300 stipend for their full participation in the experience.

Technology Requirements

For the best experience within the cohort, participants should have the following technology requirements to fully engage in the session via the Zoom online platform.

  • Computer with reliable high-speed internet connection
  • Webcam to allow for sharing your video during the sessions
  • Computer microphone for discussion during the sessions
  • Utilization of the Zoom chat functionality

We recommend use of a computer or laptop and not a smartphone or tablet to ensure the best experience.

If you need assistance to meet these technology requirements, please note them on the application so that support needs can be identified prior to the first session.


Don’t hesitate to reach out if you have additional questions! Contact FFEN at for your quickest response.

Thanks to our Funders!

This professional development experience would not have been possible without the initial and continued funding support from MN Department of Human Services – Office of Economic Opportunity, TEFAP Program. This important partnership continues to fuel the evolution and learning of sessions like this into the future. Thank you!

This activity is funded by the Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity/National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion/CDC/HHS as part of cooperative agreement number 1 NU58DP006500-01-00. The contents of this program are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement by, DNPAO/NCCDPHP/CDC/HHS, or the U.S.

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