Accountability and Relationship-Definition Among Food Banks Partnerships

Marla A. Parker, Laurie Mook, Chen Yu Kao, Alex Murdock

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Food pantries typically operate in a partnership structure where they are primarily supported by a larger food bank. However, the ability to execute that mission through cooperative arrangements greatly depends upon accountability, a key dynamic that ensures partners are fulfilling expectations and key roles. This exploratory study utilizes qualitative interview data (n = 61) from a large food bank network to understand the extent to which a lead agency (i.e., a large food bank) meets expectations of accountability among partners. The interview results demonstrate that the extent to which expectations are met relate to different types of relationships between the lead agency and partner members. Furthermore, the ways in which partners assess the strengths or weaknesses of the food bank’s accountability reveal different types of relationships within the network, namely that of supplier–customer, supporter–customer, and supporter–collaborator.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)923-937
Number of pages15
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1 2020


  • Accountability
  • Collaboration
  • Food banks
  • Network relationships
  • Partnership

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Public Administration
  • Strategy and Management


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