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Representative, There’s Hope Christian Church

Representative, Israel CME Church

Hannah Hawkins, Children of Mine

Taking your program to the next level of service

Representative, Little Sisters of the Poor 12 Janie McKay, Luther Rice Neighborhood Center

I’ve completed all Top Shelf trainings. Now what? Please submit the Top Shelf Completion Form to the Partner Relations Manager. Top Shelf forms may be accessed from the below website. Everybody can be great. Because anybody can serve. You don't have to have a college degree to serve. You don't have to make your subject and your verb agree to serve.... You don't have to know the second theory of thermodynamics in physics to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love. ~Martin Luther King, Jr.


After the Top Shelf Completion Form is received, the Capital Area Food Bank will schedule a capacity assessment at your site. I have more questions. Who should I contact? Please contact the Partner Relations Manager at 202-526-5344 or We are happy to answer any questions that you may have!


Top Shelf FAQs

Who/what gets Top Shelf accreditation? Top Shelf accreditation is for feeding programs and not individuals. Do I have to take all Top Shelf trainings? Not necessarily. Multiple individuals from your feeding program can split up the trainings amongst themselves. In addition, there are test-out options for feeding programs that already possess the skills, knowledge, abilities provided in the Top Shelf workshops. (See pages 8-9 for more information.)

Table of Contents What is Top Shelf?

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Top Shelf benefits

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Acquiring Top Shelf accreditation

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Top Shelf training curriculum

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Top Shelf test-out options

Pages 8-9

Top Shelf FAQs

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When will Top Shelf trainings be offered? Top Shelf trainings will be offered 2-3 times per year. How do I find out about Top Shelf trainings? These trainings will be advertised through the Agency Achievement Academy, the weekly e-newsletter, the online ordering page and other venues.


3 Updated on 4.25.11

What is Top Shelf? The Top Shelf training program is a series of workshops that will increase capacity and allow your program to serve more clients.

Everyday Safe Food Handling Demonstrate safe food handling training in past year OR submit a copy of Safe Food Handling Manager certificate Describe how program has implemented safe food handling best practices into its operations. Volunteer Recruitment and Management Provide a brief description of the volunteer program, including who is in charge and what types of volunteer positions are available. Describe program’s volunteer recruitment and retention efforts.

The goal of the Top Shelf training program is to provide Capital Area Food Bank member partners with the resources to begin and sustain emergency feeding programs. The Top Shelf series consists of seven workshops that provide a solid foundation for emergency feeding programs that are seeking to improve their operations. Organizations that participate in Top Shelf trainings and receive Top Shelf certification will have access to numerous benefits (page 5).

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Organizations may not test out of the below Top Shelf workshops Distribution Basics Nutrition 101 More Than Food: Wrap-Around Services

It is important to note, however, that each organization has different strengths, weaknesses, and goals. As such, Top Shelf accreditation merely indicates that an organization is striving to improve its operations and efficiency. Top Shelf accreditation will in no way be used to compare organizations. 4


Top Shelf Test-Out Procedure

Top Shelf Benefits Completing the Top Shelf training curriculum provides numerous benefits for your food distribution program

In order to demonstrate that your organization already possesses the skills, knowledge, and abilities provided in the workshops, please submit the Top Shelf test-out form and supporting documents. Top Shelf test-out forms are located at: or can be obtained by e-mailing

Introduction to Nonprofit Finances Submit a copy of feeding program’s statement of activities, balance sheet, and/or budget. Indicate who is in charge of financial record-keeping and describe how these records are used to develop the budget and other financial documents. Introduction to Program Development and Evaluation Submit a case statement or narrative section of a recent grant. Describe program goals, including the program’s measureable outcomes. Describe process for evaluating the above-described outcomes. 8

Increased knowledge and skills with relevant and immediate application to your program Access to special CAFB grant opportunities Access to CAFB’s special programs and pilot projects Special recognition and promotion Accreditation as a “Top Shelf” feeding program—a definite advantage when submitting grant proposals


How does my organization get Top Shelf accreditation?

1. Complete the Top Shelf training curriculum, as described on page 7. The entire Top Shelf curriculum will be offered 2-3 times per year. It is not required that the same individual from your organization complete all of the trainings. The trainings may be divided up between multiple individuals involved in your feeding program. Note: Programs that possess sufficient skills, knowledge, and abilities may opt to test-out of some Top Shelf workshops. For more information, see pages 8-9.

Top Shelf Training Curriculum Introduction to Nonprofit Finances

Overview of nonprofit accounting terms Linking basic record-keeping to financial management Financial forms (statement of activities, balance sheet, budget)

Introduction to Program Development and Evaluation

Needs assessments Linking program goals and outcomes Developing measureable outcomes Evaluating the program’s benefit to the larger organization

Distribution Basics

Different distribution models (client choice, blended distributions, pre-packed) Basic program development Featuring a panel of CAFB partner organizations

Nutrition 101

Overview of healthy, nutritious foods Meal-planning for feeding programs Promoting healthy foods and meals to clients CAFB nutrition resources

More than Food: WrapAround Services

Developing successful partnerships Community needs assessments

2. Submit the Top Shelf Completion Form to CAFB. All final reporting forms will be reviewed immediately following each Top Shelf series. The final Top Shelf reporting form is located at: or can be obtained by e-mailing After the Top Shelf Completion Form is received, the Capital Area Food Bank will schedule a capacity assessment at your site. 3. Receive Top Shelf benefits!

Volunteer Recruitment and Management Everyday ServSafe

Featuring a panel of outside organizations and CAFB resources Volunteer position descriptions Volunteer recruitment techniques Increasing volunteer impact Cleaning and sanitization Storing food safely and pest control Temperature control Proper personal hygiene

See page 5 for more details. 6


Top Shelf Handbook  

Top Shelf is a unique training program that equips nonprofit and faith-based organizations with the tools they need to operate a model feedi...

Top Shelf Handbook  

Top Shelf is a unique training program that equips nonprofit and faith-based organizations with the tools they need to operate a model feedi...