Food banks make up an increasing phenomenon of nonprofit organizations answering to new social needs related to the global socioeconomic crisis. In order to explore if they are suitably adapting to their environments in Spain, one of the countries most seriously affected by the crisis in South Europe, this work assumes a hybrid qualitative–quantitative structure composed of an exploratory case study based on semi-structured interviews followed by a survey addressed to all the Spanish food banks. Much of the academic literature has concerned the appropriateness of food banks as a delivery mechanism in the context of welfare state withdrawal. This paper takes this in a different direction by examining Spanish food banks from an organizational management point of view. Wary of concerns about the institutionalization of food charity, on the one hand, and recognizing the escalating daily reliance on food banks, on the other, this paper seeks to address potential technical supply problems and challenges food banks face and open debate about the organizational networks of food banks more generally. The results show nonprofit entities based on a voluntary workforce who run supply chains in order to join both social and business targets. Their situation, performance, resources, mutual relationships and the links with other entities are described, paying special attention to the changes induced by the latest contextual changes. In short, food banks are efficiently organized and well established in their territories as a coherent social movement, although they should improve in their strategic view, coordination, resources and sources of these, to satisfy more adequately their increasingly complex demands.
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