Monday, January 16th, Melis Jones, VP of Programs, and I (AgencyExpress specialist) experienced a day in the life of a food bank, hosted by our friends in Oklahoma City. From food deliveries at churches in Oklahoma City and Moore, to tours of the warehouse operation and Worm Farm, we learned about the overall operation of a food bank “Fighting Hunger, Feeding Hope”.
Arriving at 6:45am, we spent the early morning hours shadowing one delivery truck making three stops in and around OKC to three faith-based food pantries, all of which had suffered damage from an F5 tornado in 1999.
Returning to the food bank mid-morning, the operations team began processing orders received through AgencyExpress/Ceres and building the routing schedules for delivery two days later. Next, a tour of the warehouse led by Steve Moran, VP – Operations, showed us numerous efficiencies, including the use of VoxWare technology to assist pickers in filling agency orders.
Out in the Worm Farm, we viewed the tilapia tank used to produce nutrients for the hydroponic farm. The Worm Farm is used primarily as an educational facility for groups of all ages, and I was invited to eat a lettuce leaf from the crop.
Later that afternoon, we joined a group of volunteers breaking down large quantities of frozen spinach into exactly 2lb. bags for agency orders; I felt like we were making an “I Love Lucy” episode alongside the Singing Spinach Volunteers which enthusiastically performed their tasks!
To complete our day, we learned about the receipt of product into food bank inventory and various initiatives managed by the Agency Relations and Programs teams. With a final “thank you” to Steve and his team, we headed back to Dallas truly inspired by what we’d seen in Oklahoma City.
If you’ve never volunteered at your local food bank, consider it. Countless hungry Americans receive food and hope from food banks such as The Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma every day. Thanks again, to Steve Moran, Gina Ward, and their entire team in OKC. You are fighting hunger and feeding hope!
Charlotte Medley, Office Manager