Since its inception, hunger relief has been a core initiative of Aidmatrix in partnership with Feeding America and its 200+ food bank members.
During Q4 two new partners – Kansas and San Antonio – completed AgencyExpress implementations and now have access to online shopping bringing the total to 50 food banks; additionally, America’s Second Harvest of Coastal Georgia completed its migration to AE 3. By year end, Eastern Illinois Foodbank will join this group becoming #51.
Privileged to work with Kansas and San Antonio on their implementations, I visited San Antonio shortly after Thanksgiving meeting Megan DeMers, Compliance and Capability Manager; and Genevieve Noriega, Director of Partner Services, the leads on the implementation. This was not my first visit.
November 2010, I toured the San Antonio Food Bank for the first time. In the past three years its continued growth in outreach and facilities is impressive. President & CEO Eric Cooper and his team strive to implement programs and build facilities to broaden their impact on the 16-county area served.
With pride, Genevieve showed me the educational community garden, the production garden, and the newly completed Harvey E. Najim Children’s Pavilion as well as the main building and warehouse. The new pavilion is a dynamic space which can be used by the community partners as well as for food bank special events including the culmination of its “11-week Summer Food Service Program with an end-of-summer gathering, Fun Out of the Sun, for agencies and their summer participants”.
Megan shared her interaction with AgencyExpress from the food bank admin side, a ‘live’ view I rarely experience. SAFB is eager to quantify the benefits of online ordering via AgencyExpress; Megan and Genevieve were not the only ones to tell me how thrilled they are to have online shopping now at SAFB.
SAFB works with more than 500 partner agencies throughout southwest Texas. In FY2012 it provided more than 48 million pounds of food in an effort to end hunger throughout its 16-country region.
Heading north back to Dallas, I stopped in New Braunfels at the Kitchen Table, a SAFB program led by Emily Kirtner and her staff. Kitchen Table is “a different pantry experience”. Along with shopping privileges, client families have access to classes, which include nutrition and cooking, Zumba sponsored by the YMCA, and career classes taught by Goodwill. Participation in classes earns attendees points, which are applied to shopping. Thanks to Emily and her team for sharing the great work they are doing in New Braunfels.
The holiday season is upon us, and November through December is a busy time across the Feeding America food bank network, as each works tirelessly to provide Thanksgiving and Christmas meals to families that otherwise would not celebrate these holidays with the traditional meals to which we all look forward. Thank you to all our Feeding America partners for your commitment to ending hunger in the US.