FitUnited, in partnership with the United Way, the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank and the United States Department of Agriculture, needed to find a way to get healthy, fresh food to in-home child care providers in food deserts. The aim of the program was to identify a process, using a food subsidy to purchase, repack and deliver fresh fruits and vegetables, meats and nutritious shelf stable goods. Providers were asked to give up their food subsidy in exchange for the food boxes delivered weekly by FitUnited. This program has the possibility to be scaled to a national model by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) if the proper processes are discovered, tested and proven successful.
Challenge 1: Repack
How should fresh/frozen/shelf stable food repack be timed to ensure food storage space and quality? How is the process most time and resource efficient?
What is the best way to pack each box?
Challenge 2: Delivery
What is the best way to deliver the food boxes to the in-home day care providers?
How can delivery and drive time be measured and improved?
Challenge 3: Scalability
Can this model be scaled to larger markets beyond the pilot group?
What are the recommendations?
goShadow provided two consultants to shadow each process: the repack of fresh and frozen goods, the repack of shelf stable goods and the delivery of each of 3 routes. Each process was shadowed 6 times over the course of the 12-week program.
goShadow consultants shadowed the repacking of food boxes, recorded impressions of Food Bank staff and volunteers and timed the repack of small, medium and large orders.
goShadow consultants rode with the delivery drivers to time and time stamp each delivery leg, the process of food handoff and collected the impressions of the delivery driver, FitUnited staff and child care providers as the food was delivered.
Once all shadowing data was collected, time studies, experience flow maps and accolade and improvement reports were generated. These reports were combined with the impressions of delivery drivers, Food Bank staff and volunteers to create an overall picture of the Healthy Meals Home Delivery process for review by FitUnited and the United Way, Mission Logistics and the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank. All stakeholders were able to align around the data sets and reports, allowing for essential cooperation amongst multiple organizations.
Results, Return on Investment and Future Plans
Using data and reports collected and aggregated by goShaodw, FitUnited was able to make actionable changes during the program to decrease both delivery and repack time. For example, due to the topography of Pittsburgh neighborhoods and the amount of food delivered on each run, a 16-foot box truck was unnecessary and delayed timely delivery of food, as its size became a barrier. For the remainder of the program, a 12-foot truck was used, reducing delivery time by more than 2 hours.
Further, recommendations were made to the FitUnited team relating to scalability, including boxing, wait time, delivery time and other metrics.