All Faiths Food Bank serves the community through innovative, system-centric approaches

All Faiths Food Bank serves the community through innovative, system-centric approaches

Posted on April 09, 2015 by Guest Blogger

All Faiths Food Bank is truly honored to receive the Outcomes Award and the DNA ESO (Engaging – System Centric – Outcomes) Award, gifts that will support our work resulting from our participation in the Recoding Organizational DNA series. The series, a six-part workshop, was an innovative initiative created by The Patterson Foundation in partnership with Marbut Consulting to enhance the operational capacity of service agencies working on behalf of Sarasota’s homeless population.

Because of what All Faiths learned through the DNA labs, we revised our vision, mission and strategic framework. Equally important, the DNA series facilitated a new understanding of our role in the community and shifted our focus from “feeding the line” to “ending the line.”

The food bank serves at least 51,000 clients every year directly through our food distribution programs and our member agencies. We believe our reach can be the basis for a systemic, cross-discipline collaboration to end hunger and move clients toward self-sufficiency.

The greatest aspiration of a food bank is the ability to demonstrate and quantify the impact of our programs on reducing food insecurity, stabilizing families and improving their health. We know that sufficient food is only one of the challenges facing our clients, and they make impossible choices about where they spend their scarce funds. Should they buy food or pay the rent? Or pay utilities? Or buy medicine?

Food banks across the country are struggling with the lack of technology and resources to collect the data that would help them understand their clients’ needs and make referrals to other service providers. All Faiths has learned of a data collection system that is compatible with the Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) but programmed to gather additional information about food needs, distribution and utilization, and to coordinate client referral. The ESO Award will allow us to purchase the software and hire professional staff to implement this new Client Information Management System. We will pilot the system at our summer Mobile Pantry food program as part of our Campaign Against Summer Hunger. Sites will be expanded in the fall based on feedback from the initial phase.

We are grateful to The Patterson Foundation for their confidence in us and look forward to our work together. Through collaboration with community partners, we can leverage the impact of food to empower clients and link them with services they need to support their independence.

Submitted by Sandra Frank, CEO

All Faiths Food Bank

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