The food donations every year are coming in to Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee rise from November through December to almost increase what the charity receives in the rest of the year.
It is a deluge of everything from canned soups, cereals to crate vegetables and fruits, presenting an operation that relies largely on volunteers with a coordinations challenge. To manage the rush, Second Harvest is counting on the kind of technology that stores and other exclusive providers use to manage the spike in task that includes the holidays.
Part of the national network of 200 food banks that run under Feeding America, makes use of logistics software made by Exact Macola to aid manage the more than 30 million pounds of food it provides from its warehouses each year. The push toward innovation belongs to a larger drive by food banks that are increasingly taking cues from the world of e-commerce on ways to handle the surge in contributions around the holidays.
Feeding America says it promotes approximately four billion pounds of food to 46 million people yearly, with food-drive donations and handouts surging all around the holidays. Food banks lineage to provide perishable things before they expire while allocating a lot of the canned or dried foods to disperse in spring and summer, when contributions tend to lag.
Since they depend on donations, funds often don’t know what things they’ll get until they arrive at the warehouse filling dock. Until just recently, many not-for-profit organizations didn’t have the resources or proficiency to do the same, keeping huge amounts of food wasted, officials with these groups say.
As inventory management software and other supply-chain technology become more usual, it is also receiving less expensive and easier to use. Additionally, food banks encounter the same stress as stores to give speedy, customer-friendly delivery. They are also seeing more demand for fresh harvest and preservative-free food, showing broader shifts in consumer preferences. Learning right away what can be saved for later and what must be used more rapidly is vital to obtaining the most out of the food bank’s restricted space, a task complicated by the wide range of shippings. There is one setback to the technology adoption.