Operational challenges in a US nonprofit network amid COVID-19: Lessons from a food network in Virginia

Lauren Azevedo, Brie Haupt, Tamara Dimitrijevska Markoski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


The coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) had detrimental health and economic impacts on communities across the globe. Consequently, public, profit and nonprofit organizations had to quickly adjust to the new situation and adopt new operating strategies and service delivery mechanisms. This study examines a nonprofit food network in Virginia and the impact of COVID-19 on food bank services and distribution operations. Guided by the adaptive systems approach, this case study utilizes the Federation of Virginia Food Bank (FVFB) and focuses on operational challenges within the network and the impact of the CARES Act. The data obtained from stakeholder interviews and a survey of local and regional providers suggest communication and adaptive management were crucial in the continuation of network operations. Furthermore, understanding the multifaceted needs of vulnerable individuals, beyond nutrition and food insecurity, is important for nonprofit service partners in a network. The study proposes a conceptual framework for effective operations in a nonprofit network during crisis and highlights the need to create collaborative capacity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)297-317
Number of pages21
JournalNonprofit Management and Leadership
Issue number2
StatePublished - Sep 1 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Strategy and Management


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