BEGINNINGS

 

Idea

The Re-food Movement began as an idea in late 2010 (that story is here).

 

Project

During the first 10 weeks of 2011, much preliminary work was done: investigation of food sources (285) possible partnerships (Church, local government) and communication channels to the community (the first Refood Facebook page was created on the 25th of January, 2011 and can be seen here (soon)).

This developmental work resulted in the birth of the Re-food Project which was launched on March 9th, 2011, with the first food collections and deliveries (we have operated continuously ever since).

In the ensuing 14 weeks, the increasing popular participation, operational effectiveness and the obvious benefits produced, suggested the need to form an association to provide a legal platform for the continued development of the then microscopic project (operating in only seven city blocks in the heart of Lisbon, Portugal).

 

Association

Re-food 4 Good – Associação (a Portuguese non-profit) was formed on the 18th of July, 2011 to serve the already existing Project.

The formal constitution of Re-food 4 Good is here (soon).

The original articles of constitution are here (soon).

As a legal entity, Re-food 4 Good was able to submit a candidacy for the first edition of “Youth Volunteering Prize” organized and funded by the Montepio Bank. The 121 candidates produced 5 finalists and 1 winner.

The 25.000€ prize represented the first institutional funding for the project and allowed the purchase of the material needed to expand. The resultant media attention provided a flood of volunteers – these citizens of good will powered our first expansion.

The media attention generated at that time was local, national and global: our work was reported in Lisbon, throughout Portugal and worldwide - through the Associated Press, Agency France Press, Reuters, and others – while the project itself was operating in but a 7 block area (press links can be accessed here (soon).

 

New Status

 

Re-food 4 Good applied for and received the status of “Private Entity Serving the Public Good” (in Portuguese: Instituição Privada de Solidariedade  Social - or IPSS) on the 15th of April 2013 (the certification of the new status is here (soon) along with the amended articles – here (soon).

The original internal regulations of the association can be seen here (soon).

 

Evolution

The original center expanded its operations and social impact within the local neighborhood and the project soon replicated for the first time (2012).

The rapid growth of the project - doubling the number of local centers in operation in each of its first 4 years (1, 2, 4, 8) - together with the increasingly widespread geographic dispersion of the centers forming around the country, suggested the need for a national, regional and local structure, that structure can be seen here (soon).

The years of 2014 and 2015 marked the transition between geometric growth (doubling each year) and exponential growth - the number of centers serving their communities tripled in 2015 (from 8 to 24).

 

Movement

The idea (2010) which became a project (2011 – 2014) has now evolved into a Movement (2015).

That rapid growth, including the coming internationalization, together with changes in the Portuguese law governing nonprofits, revealed the need to further amend the articles and the internal regulations to better govern the ever expanding Movement.

These documents, adopted in November of 2015 and currently governing the Re-food Movement, can be seen here (soon) and here (soon).

Additionally, a suite of documents, codifying the sequence and content of the replication process, have been elaborated to strengthen our ability to respond to the ever increasing demand we are facing. Those documents can be seen here (soon).

Currently, we are developing the “Manual for Local Center Management” which will be issued in 2016 (it will be made available as soon as it has been approved).

In the meantime, and in the interest of assuring uniform practice and quality control throughout the ever expanding organization, the Director team has begun issuing Directives (the first 12 during 2015).

These concise documents, each devoted to a specific and essential topic, seek to inform, form, reform and lead to a uniform, Movement wide, practice which improves the quality of our work in each of the communities where we serve. The 12 Directives can be seen here (soon).

 

Governance

 

New elements joined both the Direction and the Fiscal Council in the General Assembly held in November of 2014 (The Assembly Council did not change).

The Three Governing Bodies and their current composition can be seen here (soon).

The Executive Commission (forming throughout 2015) can be seen here (soon).

Financial Reports, Budgets and Activity Plans, old and new, can be seen here (soon).

 

Organizational Transparency

 

The Re-food Movement, and the association that serves it, seek to attain and maintain organizational transparency.

Every Re-food Center has the obligation to publically publish its record of service, financial transactions and all pertinent data for the local community to review (an example of this instrument can be seen here (soon)).

The Director team is determined to institute organizational transparency throughout the Movement. The creation and implementation of reporting tools, well beyond those required by law, are progressing – 2016 will be the year of Organizational Transparency for the Re-food Movement.