Ceres Glossary (v6.0)

Modified on Tue, 14 Nov 2023 at 06:46 AM



Ceres Glossary


Purpose of this document


The purpose of this document is to provide a dictionary of terms commonly referred to by Ceres users.


Ceres Object release 6.00.00 is required for the functionality described in this document.


Account Schedule

A tool in Ceres that allows you to create balance sheets or income statements that have a different sequence and totals from your chart of accounts.


The Microsoft® Dynamics™ NAV ADCS (Automated Data Capture System) provides a utility to access NAV from a handheld Radio Frequency device providing real-time access to your warehouse data for specified transactions. Certain granules and integrations are required.

ADCS Barcoding

Same as above.


An entity affiliated with a food bank that reaches the population directly, such as a food pantry or soup kitchen.

Agency Card

The master data records in Ceres related to an Agency.

Agency Compliance

The process of monitoring an Agency for the ongoing requirements to be affiliated with a member food bank. In addition, it is the term used for the functionality that manages this agency status in Ceres.

Agency Express

On online ordering tool for Agencies of Feeding America members. It is a web-based solution that exclusively integrates with Ceres. the solution is owned and supported by the TechBridge.

Agency Fees

A subset of Handling fees; Ceres allows the food bank to establish different default Fee levels for the same Items. This is useful for fee differentiation for situations like other member food bank Agencies vs. regular Agencies.

Agency Group

System Qualifiers can be assigned and managed for a group of similar Agencies via Agency Groups. It is required to use them for AE3.

Agency invoice

Agency Invoices are the documents generated by posting an Agency Order. These are the documents from which the agency/program pays for the product and/or shared maintenance and/or handling fees, etc. associated with their order.

Agency order

A document that is created when you wish to distribute product to your member agencies.

Allocation (Agencies)

Item Allocations allow food banks to allocate item quantities to specific Agencies and create an Agency Order for them, instead of waiting for an Order request from the Agency.


A truck routing system that is integrated with Ceres. It allows a food bank to route Agency Deliveries and Donor Pickups.

Backpack Program

Not a Ceres specific term – this refers to Programs in place at many food banks to create backpack insert bags with food and supplies for at risk school age children. Ceres Kitting is often used to assist with the management of backpack insert assembly.


A basic warehouse structure for storing products; typically, an XYZ slot in a Rack, but may also be a designated area on the floor. Bins are a part of a Zone and a Location in Ceres. It is possible to have a bin with the same ID code in more than one Location.

Blue Receipt

A blue receipt donation is typically a donation from a grocery store or similar. They are donations that are picked up locally but are from donors that are tracked nationally. These donations are reported to Feeding America during the month.


Bill of material. A list of the items that go into a kit or a finished product, such as a CSFP Box or backpack.


Branches = the food bank Operations in a particular city. A given branch may have one or more Locations in it. An optional Ceres license is needed to access this capability.


One box of an Item, depending on the method of storage.


A software system built exclusively for food banking; it runs on a Microsoft NAV platform.

Chart of Accounts

The numbering structure used in financial accounting that allows for proper recording on transactions, reporting and auditing.


Chart of Accounts in the General Ledger.

Credit Memo

Also known as an Agency Credit Memo. The tool used in Ceres to reverse an Agency Order/ Invoice and financially credit the Agency for any fees. 


Constituent Relationship Management.


Government Commodities; Commodity Supplemental Food Program. This program works to improve the health of low-income pregnant and breastfeeding women, other new mothers and elderly people at least 60 years of age by supplementing their diets with nutritious USDA commodity foods.

Cycle Counts

Counting some of the Items on hand and recording the count variance in Ceres.

Default Bin Slotting/ Picking

A default Pick Bin configuration will establish guidelines that a given Item can only be dropped to and picked from one default Bin. Variable Bin Slotting and Picking is also an available option.

Delivery Fees

Fees charged to an agency by the food bank for delivering product. Various fee guidelines can be established based on distance from the food bank and Order load size.

Delivery Zones

Geographic Zones established by the food bank; can be matched to various Delivery Fee calculations.


A dimension is data added to an entry so that entries with similar characteristics can be grouped and easily retrieved for analysis purposes. Dimensions can be used throughout Ceres on entries in journals, documents, and budgets.

Direct service

This is a designation assigned to an Agency when that Agency represents one of your internal food bank programs that distributes to individuals.

Donation credit memo

This document allows reversing of a Donation Receipt.

Donation Order

This document allows recording of donated items into inventory.


Any company, organization or individual who provides items (food, non-food, packaging materials, etc.) to the FA member at no charge

Donor Card

The master data records in Ceres related to a Donor.

Drop Shipment

Also known as Cross Docking or Rural Drop Sites. This term has a particular meaning in food banking – it is used when the food bank does not delivery product all the way to an Agency site, but instead arranges for multiple Agencies to meet the food bank truck in a specified location, nearer to the Agencies location. The Cross-docking functionality in Ceres is not used to facilitate this process.


Government Commodities; Emergency Food Assistance Program.


Enterprise Resource Planning – typically refers to large, complex computer systems that help manage multiple organization functions in one system. Ceres is an ERP system.


Food Bank Code. This is a code that can be created by the Food Bank to best describe a particular set of information. It must be linked to valid UNC Code of the same data set (see UNC).


First In First Out Cost – the variable cost to the food bank to purchase one Unit of Measure a particular Item. Ceres follows the standard accounting rules for FIFO if this costing method is selected for an Item. It is typically used for purchased food when the food bank is handling the purchases via Ceres. Please note it is different than the Agency Fees.

FOB or Object

A Financials Object – a group of NAV/ Ceres code created by a Ceres solution provider. Special instructions are needed for the installing and handling of FOB’s.

Food Bank

A not-for-profit food recovery and distribution program that works to reduce hunger by utilizing surplus products donated by the food industry as well as purchase items of nutritional value to supplement feeding programs of charitable agencies.

Food Bank Code

See FBC above.

Food Drive

A campaign to collect food (and potentially non-food) items; usually under a specific sponsoring organization and for a limited time.

Food Drive Sort

Assessing the donated food and sorting it into the various food categories or types for storage.

Food Rescue

The practice of picking up food (typically perishable food) from a donor and delivering it directly to an Agency.

Foods to Encourage

A network adopted term related to the nutritional value of a given item.


Food or funds donated or gifted to the member or by the member.

Grocery Rescue

The process of picking up food from a Grocery store donor. This can be completed by the food bank and/or by a nearby agency. If an agency picks up the food directly, it is often called Agency facilitated grocery rescue.


Global Trade Item Number. An expansion of the UPC, a number that identifies any item or service that can be ordered or invoiced.

Handling Fees

Fees an Agency may need to pay to the food bank for some Items. This is too re-imburse the food bank for the cost to handle and store the Item.

HPNAP Reporting

The State of New York Health Department administers the HPNAP Program and Grants. Food Banks in the state of NY that receive these grants must report back key data on a specified time frame.

Inventory Management

The actual management of the food itself, tracking transformations, aging, balances, locations etc.

Inventory Transformations (Reclass)

Recording the change of Inventory from one type to another, like from “Unsorted food drive inventory” to “Canned vegetables”.


A distinct Inventory Type, such as Green Beans, frozen meat etc. An Item must have the same Unit of Measure, Gross Weight per Unit of Measure, Costing Methods and Handling Guidelines.

Item Card

The master data records in Ceres related to an Item.

Item Journal

A tool in Ceres to impact key inventory data; it is a primary tool used for Inventory adjustments.


A consortium of multiple food banks that partnered together to create a major Ceres release. Jupiter also can refer to the release itself, which also has designated Object numbers.


Pre-assembling sorted product into boxes/ bags etc. for the ease of clients (emergency food box etc.).


A Building/ Site (Ceres specific, has other meanings in other systems)

Row/ Bin = Refers to locations in the Racks of a warehouse.


A tracking code assigned to product at receipt, for better control over item tracking and item disbursement. This code can be especially important during times of product recall. It is preferable to use a unique Lot Number series for all items (except perhaps salvage) so that you can easily track when the product was received, from which Lot it was transferred or distributed, etc. Each item is designated a Lot No. series that defines what Lot number will be assigned at time of receipt.

Master data

Various data items that change infrequently, such as Agency Cards, Donor Cards, Vendor Cards and Item Cards.

Mobile Rescue

See also Grocery rescue or Food rescue.

Mobile Pantry

A member sets up food (and potentially non-food) items at a location for access by qualified clients to “shop.” Usually only for several hours at a time and on a scheduled basis.

Movement Worksheet

A tool within Ceres to assist in the recording of movement of Inventory (Lots/ Pallets) from one Bin/ Zone/ Location to another.

NOS (Number Series)

Unique numbers assigned to a given type of Records, such as Agencies and Agency Orders. These can either be manually assigned or system assigned.

Pack Size

How many of the item in a case (24/ 16 oz. Cans per case for example).

Package Type

This is a classification of packaging for inventory items: i.e. bag, can, jar, tote, etc.


Cases or crates of Inventory stacked on a pallet, typically shrink wrapped together.

Pallet Tag

A paper or sticker report, typically generated by Ceres, which is affixed to the Pallet of product.

Parent Agency

An Agency is the entity in Ceres that receives the food. The organization may also have a Parent Agency that handles the financial/ legal dealings. Typical examples of this type of structure are Catholic Social Services or Salvation Army. A Parent Agency may have one or more Linked Agencies.

Parent Donor

Like the Parent Agency & Agency relationship, the Parent Donor is generally the retail chain, and the linked Donors are the individual stores within that chain. Each Parent Donor may have multiple linked donors.

Parent Vendor

Similar to the Parent Agency & Agency relationship, the Parent Vendor is generally the regional headquarters are the individual vendor locations within that chain. Each Parent Vendor may have multiple linked vendors.


Partner Distribution Organization. This is a designation for an organization that is closely tied to the food bank (a partnership agreement is created with the food bank). A 501(c)(3) organization or a wholly owned subsidiary of a 501(c)(3) organization that fulfills ALL primary food banking and/or food rescue responsibilities on behalf of the Member through a defined portion of a Member’s service area.

Primary Food Banking Responsibilities are:

  • Product Distribution Management
  • Agency Relations Management
  • Food Solicitation
  • Fundraising for hunger related activities
  • Media and Community Relations for hunger related activities

Physical Inventory

Counting all the Items on hand and recording the count variance in Ceres.


This is the warehouse document from which the product is prepared for pickup/delivery. When posted, the Agency Shipment document is created and the product shows as “Shipped” on the Agency Order.

Posting Groups 

(Customer, Vendor, Inventory, Gen. Business, Gen. Product, Grand, Bank Account, Genera, FA Posting Groups).

Product category

This classification further describes the origin of the item: i.e. Food Drive, Other Purchase, Retail and Wholesale, etc.

Product Groups

A data template/ grouping in Ceres that links Bin Classifications to an Item.

Product Source

This is a classification that designates from where the item was received: i.e. Local, A2H Local, Cluster, USDA, etc.

Product Type

This is a Feeding America classification of inventory based upon the item’s type: i.e. Diary, Fresh Fruits/Vegetables, Bread/Bakery, etc. An Item is assigned a standard Numerical Product Type number.


No longer used in Ceres. Agency replaces this, and Parent Agency replaces Agency.

Purchase Blanket Orders

A blanket purchase order is a purchase order that spans more than one purchase invoice. 

Purchase credit memo

This document allows reversing of a purchase order/invoice if entered incorrectly or if it should not have been entered at all.

Purchase invoice

This document allows recording of expenses for payables and creating entries for payment by the food bank to the vendor.

Purchase order

This document allows recording of purchased items into inventory. When invoiced allows for payment to be made to the vendor.


The process of moving inventory from the receiving area to a storage Bin/ Zone/ Location.


Predefined Qualifiers act as factors that control the availability of certain items and/or grant amounts on orders. Building these important qualifying factors into the system relieves the burden of remembering them at the point of data entry. Qualifiers are restrictions that work in conjunction with Items, Agencies (and Agency Groups), Counties & Grants.


In Ceres, this term refers to functionality designed to capture information reported to the food bank by Agencies on a set time schedule. (example: Monthly Agency Survey).


Redistribution Organization. A separate entity from a food bank; they act as a regional distributor for smaller agencies (i.e. a Super-Agency).

A 501(c)(3) organization or a wholly owned subsidiary of a 501(c)(3) organization that a Member contracts with for purposes of the logistical transfer of food and grocery product which will include one or more, but not all, primary food banking responsibilities.

Reason Codes

Tracking codes available within Ceres – these are established by the food bank and can be assigned to track the “why” of transactions like order cancellations, adjustments, credit memos.

Reclassify or Reclass

Recording the change of Inventory from one type to another, like from “Unsorted food drive inventory” to “Canned vegetables”.

Release (to Warehouse)

Releasing Agency Orders (individually or in batches) marks them as ready for Warehouse processing and no longer available for order entry (or edits).


The process of repackaging food (or non-food) from bulk qualities to the units that are available to agencies. For example, bulk apples may be repackaged or “repacked” to 10 lb bags by the member.


A truck routing system that is integrated with Ceres. It allows a food bank to route Agency Deliveries and Donor Pickups.

Role Tailored Client

The user interface for Ceres; it is configurable for various job responsibilities.


Person working or volunteering for an Agency who places orders for products on behalf of that Agency.

Shopping Area

The food bank grocery type store area for Agencies.

Standard Cost

The cost to the food bank for one Unit of Measure of an Item. If this cost method is selected for an item, Ceres will follow normal accounting rules for standard costing. This method is commonly used for Donated products and Government commodities, and the standard cost represents the food bank assigned value for the items. Please note it is different than the Agency Fees.

Storage Type

Cooler, Freezer or Dry.


Also called Agency Survey or Questionnaire (see above).


Government Commodities; The Emergency Food Assistance Program. Under this program, commodity foods are made available by the USDA to states. The states then provide the food to local agencies they have selected (usually food banks), which in turn distribute the food to soup kitchens and food pantries that directly serve the public.


Large cardboard container used for bulk product (rice) or Food drive product collection 

Trail Codes

See Source Codes and Reason Codes.


Moving food between Locations.


Recording a write off of Items that are no longer distributable and must be disposed.


This is the Uniform Number Code (UNC) identification number supplied by Feeding America for its member food banks.

Unit Cost

The cost to the food bank for one Unit of the Item. See FIFO Cost and Standard Cost for more information.


Unit of Measure (by the pound, by the case etc.).

UPC Code

Universal Product Code. The bar code and associated numbers appear on most every item sold. See also GTIN. 


Government Commodities; U.S. Department of Agriculture.


An entity from which you purchase food/non-food items and/or services and to whom you submit payment for such.

Vendor Card

The master data records in Ceres related to a Vendor.


A Warehouse Automation tool that is integrated with Ceres. It facilitates the use of voice activated remote data capture tools to expedite some specific warehouse functions – like Order Picking.


The Warehouse Activity Plan (WAP) plans the pick bin replenishments needed for products that will be distributed via Released Agency Orders. Also known as a Drop Report.

Warehouse Management

Managing the storage and movement of the inventory.

Wave Pick/ Wave list

This is a ‘pick’ list generally for frozen and refrigerated products created separately from the regular pick list; so that the picker can pick all of this type of product at one time for all orders. This allows them to keep products on a minimum number of pallets and in a smaller space. This report is driven by Storage Requirement or Zone.

Yellow receipt

A yellow receipt donation is a National donation from Choice. Typically, these are donations from a Manufacturer or large distributor, and it is shipped to the food bank.


In Ceres, this term refers to a designated area within a Location. One Location can have multiple Zones, and each Zone can have multiple Bins within it.


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