Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Procurement and distribution

The Pittsburgh Community Food Bank provides food services to an 11 county area surrounding Pittsburgh.  In the past, food bank have passed out bags of non-perishable items to folks who showed up.   In the summer many communities partnered with a social service agency to give out free lunches for any kid 18 and younger who showed up at a specific time and place.  Pretty much, that is still how it works.  However, as with all things, the procedure has had to evolve.  Research, communications, technology, and a member network have changed the way that food is provided.  It is no longer simply canned goods.  The Pittsburgh food bank provides fresh produce from farmers, nutritional information and how to cook tips.
As a non-profit the food bank staff and management has to be innovative and keep costs within a budget that relies on grants and donations.   They must continue to provide top level service to stakeholders, maintain costs, minimize risks (ex. food recovery donated to food programs), continue to build and maintain relationships with donors and farmers, and hire top quality staff and recruit volunteers to help in their mission.

The challenges faced by food banks are not really any different from those faced by clothing manufacturers and furniture makers. Are there other evolutions possible in the procurement and distribution of food supplies to those who need it?  What supply chain reasons exist to encourage everyone with a kitchen window to grow their own small scale garden with provided seeds and a DIY guide?

Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank  www.pittsburghfoodbank.org
 Supply Chain Council www.supply-chain.org The Five Most Common Supply Chain Challenges

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