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Website FAQ

Below you will find frequently asked questions about using the members-only features of our website.

My Account

  • Can I create an event? Site administrators can create events to be displayed in the events directory. If you would like to submit an event to be posted to the calendar, please contact us. The event will be reviewed and posted if it is appropriate and relevant to the mission of the Food Alliance.
  • Can I send messages to other members? You can send public and private messages by visiting a users profile and clicking the links for ‘Private Message’ or ‘Public Message’. A private message is similar to an e-mail; only the person you message will be able to read it and respond. A public message is similar to Twitter’s @username feature. Whenever you mention the the member in an online group update (example: “Great event the other night, @username!”) they will be notified and others will be linked to their profile page. These ‘public messages’ will only be visible in the group update section in which you post them.
  • Email Notifications – When you join a group, you will receive a daily e-mail digest of group activity. This doesn’t mean you will get an e-mail every day — you will only get one e-mail on any day when new activity happens (i.e new document, post, update, or an event). By default, you will also get e-mail notifications about private messages, replies to discussions you’ve started, and more. You can change your notification preferences in your user profile under My Profile < Settings < Email.

Using Online Groups

Online groups help our members effectively work and communicate as we build a better food system together. Below is a description of the key features you will find in each group:

  • Group Updates (Status, Image, Link, Document, Video). The easiest and quickest way to communicate and share something with your group. You can post simple text (and others can respond by commenting); share an image or a link, upload a document, or even include a video by clicking on one of the icons at the bottom right of the updates box.
  • Discussion Forum. Group members can post discussions and ‘follow’ these discussions to receive e-mails when anyone replies. You can also include attachments in any post or reply; click the link at the bottom to attach documents or images related to the discussion.
  • Documents. Group members can upload documents — meeting minutes, flyers, spreadsheets, etc. — for other group members to see and download. You can also filter documents by categories that are created by the group admin (i.e. minutes, flyers, etc).
  • Send Group E-mail. Group administrators can send an e-mail to all group members. Use this feature if you want to send an important message to your group. For non-urgent messages, post an update or start a discussion topic — group members will get an e-mail digest at the end of the day.
  • Invite Someone. Invite other members into your group by clicking the Send Invites tab. There is also an option to invite those who are not members of the Food Alliance (select Send Invitations By E-mail within the Send Invites tab).


  • Is my user profile private? Your user profile is only viewable by logged-in members of the Food Alliance. In addition to this, you can choose privacy settings for each field in your user profile so that certain information is not visible to other users. If you want to make changes to these settings, simply edit your profile and choose new privacy settings under each field.
  • Who can see my posts, documents, and pictures in online groups? Only logged-in users can view postings in our online groups. Without a user profile, the group directory and individual groups are not accessible – you must create an account first in order to access those pages.
  • Some groups are ‘private’ – what does that mean? The Five NBCFA Workgroups are open to anyone who wants to join the work of the Alliance – they are ‘open’ groups that anyone can join. Our voting members and committees, however, are by invitation and therefore are private. Only those who are invited can access these groups. If you would like to join the Members or Operations committee, or nominate yourself as a potential Voting Member, please let us know.


  • Some users may find that they cannot access the NBCFA website while at work. This is because some large networks (i.e. hospitals, large corporations, other institutions) have setup network ‘firewalls’ to provide extra security for their internal computer networks. If you are experiencing this issue, there are two things you can do:
    • Contact your IT department or network administrator and request that and all subpages be ‘whitelisted’ for the network and for your computer / network login. After this, you should be able to access the site from work.
    • Use a mobile device (i.e. tablet, smartphone) to access the website on a non-work wi-fi network or through your cell service (i.e. 3G/4G/LTE). The NBCFA website has been optimized for use on mobile devices, so you will be able to access everything you need.