In May of 2021 the board of directors and executive team started an assessment for an expansion of the current Food Bank facility to increase capacity needs that arose from the pandemic and have continued to plague the daily work of the team. At this same time, the Food Bank consulted with a strategic planning firm to help them to frame their next 5 years and what their ultimate goal was for the next term.
The mission and vision were aligned to where the Food Bank is currently and the vision for the future.
- Mission: Leading the effort to eliminate hunger in our region, by partnership with others in our community, through education, advocacy, and distribution of nutritious food.
- Vision: A community where everyone has access to nutritious food and no one is hungry.
Additionally, the core values were reviewed to best represent the culture of the organization and those that work at the Food Bank.
- Knowledge – We value the pursuit of knowledge, the sharing of, and the efficient use of expertise for the benefit of all
- Courage – We value courageous leadership and teamwork so that we may accomplish our goals in the face of challenges.
- Inclusion – We value our staff, partners, clients, and volunteers and their unique talents, backgrounds, passion, and commitment to the diverse needs of our community.
- Equity – We value the equitable distribution of appropriate resources to build a healthy and stable community.
- Responsibility – We value the responsible application of resources in all interactions and activities.
As the board approved the new strategic plan, they also approved the plan to move forward with the expansion of the current Food Bank facility. This expanded facility will allow for an increase in the capacity for operations and the staff needed to help our neighbors who are food insecure in our service area. This also became a great time to look at our logo and brand to see if it fits who we are now and who we want to be in the future. As we envision the Food Bank today and tomorrow – how can a logo speak to our mission, vision, and core values.
As we embarked on the work of a potential brand refresh, we looked to staff, board, community members, and stakeholders to have a voice in the look and feel of a new design.
Why Change the Logo?
As we reviewed the history of the logo and brand – we took into account the inclusion portion of our core values and with some insight from Feeding America, we learned that the symbol of wheat was not inclusive of all the populations being served in our communities. A logo featuring wheat had been in existence for the 38 years of the Food Bank. As we talked through the new Food Bank vision and culture, we determined it was time for a change.
We were the first Food Bank in 2004 to incorporate nutrition and a nutrition policy into our work, which factored into the image we want for our future logo. The subcommittee also noted that Food Bank of CNY continues to grow, impacting thousands of families across the Central, Northern, and Mohawk Valley regions of New York State. The brand needed to be overhauled. An updated logo and brand should be modern and deliver an image that is as fresh and healthy as the food they provide to those in need.
The Food Bank gives people hope. It is inspirational, empowering and a real movement of true believers as much as it is an organization. The brand identity’s design and message must capture the power of hope. During our Branding Sub-Committee brainstorm session, there were few key terms that they envisioned being conveyed in a fresh, cool, and different way than the current logo. These terms:
The Branding Subcommittee determined the Food Bank needed three things to come from a brand refresh:
- Be more top-of-mind, and become the first group people think of when it comes to ending hunger in the community
- Make our logo something anyone would be proud to wear in part of their clothing rotation
- Use creativity and design that matches the heart and soul of the people who live the mission daily
Potential Name Change
As the committee geared up to work – there were numerous conversations about a name change that might encompass the entire 11 county service area of FBCNY - Central New York, Northern New York, the Mohawk Valley, and part of the Southern Tier. In addition to the subcommittee, the Food Bank leadership and executive teams held discussions around a name change, even including FBCNY partners in the various communities we serve.
But, when all conversations were completed – there wasn’t one name change everyone felt would encompass the whole service area and be identifiable to the Food Bank. Additionally, when the current value of the name and recognition was factored in, all were in favor of keeping the name as is. However moving forward, we will do a better job when talking about our work to highlight the regions that we serve in grants, conversations, and awareness pieces.
The Branding Sub-Committee recommended the use of a consultant to help walk through designs and potential new brand for Food Bank of CNY. The consultant started off with 8 potential logos, that the subcommittee and executive team then reduced to 3 potential logos with some various changes. As the work continued, there was a clear front runner and our new logo had started to take vision.
The new Food Bank logo uses the symbol of an apple and subtly reinforces a heart shape with the negative space. The apple symbol cradles the word food, suggesting protection, comfort, and safety.
The font was updated to a more modern, friendly san-serif. The brand palette was updated to a green which conveys a strong association with nature, health, and growth. However, we kept the legacy yellow from the original 38 years of Food Bank logos.
2 final designs were presented to all staff and the board to vote on and with 100% votes in, the winner was…..
September 1 launch day with the start of Hunger Action Month and National Food Bank Day!