To run a 94,000 square food warehouse, a fleet of vehicles, order line, pick-ups, and deliveries takes a professional staff of drivers, mechanics, dispatchers, warehouse workers, receivers, and managers.
All 13 trucks are kept busy picking up and delivering food throughout the service area. A dispatcher coordinates the schedule, and drivers carry a personal digital assistant (PDA) that keeps them connected to the inventory list. One of several nationally recognized innovations.
The Food Bank relies on thousands of volunteers per year to examine all donated packaged food and grocery items for suitability for human use or consumption. In "repack," as it is known, volunteers and warehouse staff sort, grade, and repackage more than 1.5 million pounds of food each year and make them ready for distribution. Our wholesale buying power enables us to purchase items like cereal and pasta in bulk; volunteers repack these items into smaller sizes. The Cereal Project was started so that corporations could purchase truckloads of bulk product, and then their own volunteers could come to the Food Bank and repack the product. Companies may hold meetings and have lunch. Participants report it's a wonderful team building experience. To join the Cereal Project, contact Anne at (412) 460-3663, ext 205.
The Food Bank maintains a professional staff that is vigilant about financial management, complying with regulations, record-keeping, monitoring of clients and agencies, and general non-profit best practices. We have been recognized
Innovative technology, communication, equipment and food handling systems are a part of the Food Bank's commitment to efficiency and service excellence.
In 1999, the Food Bank acquired the Kruncher, a machine that crushes unusable canned food into two recyclable products, scrap metal and hog food. This machine saved the Food Bank $1,000 per month in garbage fees!
The Food Bank recycles all possible materials.
The PDA communication system developed by our IT Department has been embraced by the national food bank network and received the 2005 Technology Model Program of the Year Award from Feeding America (formerly known as America's Second Harvest).
The Department of Procurement and Marketing (PROMAR) created the Choose Healthy Options Program (CHOP), a simple nutritional numbering system that won the 2006 Agency Outreach Model Program of the Year.
The Advocacy Program won the 2006 Local Coalition Building Initiative of the Year Award for creating a system by which supporters of food programs public policy change can register and work together to communicate with policy and governmental agencies.