Food banks serve as one of the key support mechanisms for families and individuals in need of assistance. In 2019, there were more than 1,000,000 visits to upwards of 2,300 food banks in Canada. Due to a steady increase in demand, it is important for food banks to distribute the necessary food to requesters on a timely to ensure no one remains hungry.
Typically, food bank staff obtain these requests via phone calls and then they deliver the food once the request has been verified, a process that can easily become overwhelming when done manually. Obtaining necessary details over the phone can get messy because all information must be noted accurately, otherwise there ‘s a possibility for miscommunication. Also, it’s difficult for food bank team members to take requests and verify them efficiently if they are always busy with phone calls.â€‹
This is where an automated food bank home delivery solution comes in handy. The food bank delivery process can be simplified and streamlined through the use of automation to help accept food orders, provide confirmations, and send reminder notifications with the food delivery date with little to no human intervention.
Here’s how automation can be worked into the food bank distribution process.
1. Food Requests
The first step in automating the food bank home delivery process is collecting requests from those who have need of food from the food bank. These requests can be collected in multiple ways, for example, by scanning a QR (quick response) code and filling out an online form.
Once someone submits a request for food, their contact information is stored in a list inside a contact management system, where it can be used when sending the confirmation and reminders about the food delivery.
All the food bank needs to do is make sure that there is awareness of how to make the online food delivery request and that the request form and/or QR code is posted with the details.
2. Request Verification
Once a food delivery request is submitted through the online form, a task is then automatically generated for the food bank team to verify the new request. This task may include all of the submitted information or just the key information needed in order to verify the request.
Once the food bank team member verifies the request, they can approve it by clicking a button that appears in the online profile that was automatically generated for the requester, which will resume the automated process.
3. Confirmation Message
The next step in the automated food bank home delivery process is sending a confirmation notification to those who submitted the food request form. Using automation, these confirmations can be sent out automatically once someone submits the form and is verified by the food bank team. Automation can also allow these messages to be more personalized. The automated food bank distribution system automatically pulls the information that was submitted and includes it in the message template, such as the requester’s name and address, along with any other relevant information.
The confirmation message may also contain an option to update or cancel the food request, if needed.
4. Home Delivery Reminder
When the food delivery date approaches for each person who submitted a delivery request, the automated solution will send out a reminder containing the delivery date, the details of the request, as well as an option to update or delete the request.
The food bank staff simply needs to create a templated reminder message and identify which sections require personalization and upon sending, each reminder message is personalized automatically to each individual requester using the information stored in the central database.
5. Post-delivery Survey
The last step in the automated food bank home delivery process is to send out an online survey to the requester, asking for feedback on the food distribution process. This information can help food banks determine whether there are any parts of the process that can be further optimized to ensure the service is as efficient and as effective as possible. All submissions from this survey are stored in the database for the food bank team to review.
How do I automate the food bank home delivery process?
Automating the food bank home delivery process sounds easier said than done right?
SimplyCast has developed an automated food bank home delivery solution using its all-in-one suite of tools that food banks can customize to suit their own particular needs. Rather than piecing together multiple different tools to create an automated solution, SimplyCast includes everything food banks need in one centralized platform.
To learn more about how SimplyCast can help food banks streamline the food bank home delivery process, click the button below to request a one-on-one demo of the solution!