Fighting Hunger – Better, Faster, Stronger!

Fighting Hunger – Better, Faster, Stronger!

Grant Year: 2016 | Focus Area: Family | Grant Amount: $108,200 | Grant Status: Completed

Fighting Hunger – Better, Faster, Stronger!

MANNA Food Bank, Inc. dba Manna Food Pantries/MANNA

MANNA is a local grassroots organization dedicated to fighting hunger in Escambia and Santa Rosa Counties since 1983. MANNA offers emergency food assistance from three food distribution pantries and services the food-related needs of vulnerable populations through programs such as Backpack4Teens, Healthy Seniors, Tummy Bundles, and others, and engages the entire community in the fight against hunger. MANNA has partnership programs with several local organizations including Gulf Coast Kids House, Lutheran Services Florida, Westminster Village, Santa Rosa County School District, the United Way of Escambia County, Boys and Girls Clubs and Ministry Village at Olive. The organization is nonsectarian, community-focused, volunteer supported, receives no government funding and provides all services free of charge. Service is offered a maximum of four times a year to individuals in need and grocery bags are packed based on USDA standards for a healthy diet.

Project Description

MANNA is seeking funding from IMPACT 100 for the development and delivery of a user-friendly web based application that includes a Client, Donor and Food Inventory management system, plus hardware, that will provide the tools needed to fight hunger. The Client Management Application will improve the quality of time spent with clients during their interview process. Once the interview process is complete, the system will electronically send the food order, including special food needs to the warehouse to be filled. The Donor and Food Inventory Management system will track the intake of the donations and the distribution of food. The Application Development costs include the first year of software hosting and support, review of existing work flow, database design, building application modules, testing application, implementing application, training users, and facilitating migration of current data into the new system. The hardware costs include replacing outdated equipment, additional office workstations, three mobile laptop computers with docking stations for operational staff, TV display for conference/training room, TV display for warehouse work order queue, tablets for warehouse and mobile collection workers to process food donations, and network switches/wireless access points for the facilitation of wired and wireless network connectivity.

Community Impact

With eight full-time employees and over 3,000 volunteers, MANNA provided food to 20,303 people in need last year. A Client, Donor, and Food Inventory Management System and hardware would enable MANNA to better connect their clients to other resources in the community, offer improved quality of food, effectively identify gaps in service, and expand their services in partnership with other agencies. A user-friendly client software program would allow volunteer interviewers to focus less on problems with the software and be more proactive with helping clients identify additional resources and long-term sustainable solutions to their emergency food crisis. Automating the inventory and food distribution in the warehouse operations will enable MANNA to more effectively manage the food given to the hungry and expand services to others in need. Taking this more holistic approach of addressing the multiple problems facing the hungry and connecting them with other resources can elevate them from hunger to hope. Sustainability of this project has already been discussed during the process in which the quote was secured. The annual fees to host this project will be around $500. Any additional maintenance fees will be nominal and absorbed by MANNA as operational expenses.