Before the food can be boxed and sent to our member agencies to be distributed to clients, our trusty volunteers ensure the best before dates have been checked and that the product isn’t damaged. Did you know that 1.4 million pounds of food came through our warehouse to be distributed to our hungry neighbours last year? In today’s blog, walk with us through the process from when food first arrives at the docking bay to when it goes out to our agencies.
|Step One: Weigh In|
When a delivery arrives, our warehouse staff unload the truck, weigh each donation and log it into the warehouse database.
|Step Two: Tag It|
Each new delivery gets a ‘license plate’ that shows it has been received and tracks when it arrived in the warehouse. Once the donations have been logged, they are sent to the ‘receiving’ or ‘staging’ area until they are ready to be sorted.
|Step Three: Heavy Lifting|
When the volunteers are ready for more items to sort, our warehouse staff uses the forklift to bring a pallet over to the sorting area.
|Step Four: Check the Date & Inspect for Damage!|
Before the food can be boxed and sent to our member agencies to be distributed to clients, our trusty volunteers ensure the best before dates have been checked and that the product isn’t damaged.
How do they know what food is still good? Easy, they just refer to the “Best-Before Board”! Once they make sure the food is not outside of our best before protocols, it goes into a grocery cart for the next step.
|Step Five: Sorting and Boxing|
We sort food into 25 different categories according to type of food.
We have categories for everything from breakfast foods, soups and baking items to meats and vegetables.
|Step Six: Pallet-ing Area|
Once the boxes are full, they’re taped closed and placed on a pallet that corresponds with their category. Each box weighs approximately 10 pounds and each pallet can hold up to 40 packed boxes!
|Step Seven: The Picking Row|
To fill the orders for our member agencies, the warehouse staff pull from the ‘picking row’. They use the database to fill this row with stock based on how long it has been in the warehouse. First in, first out!
|Step Eight: Send it Out|
We load the truck and make deliveries to our member agencies all around the city!
|Secret Weapon: Volunteers|
Last year, our volunteers served for a combined total of more than 13,000 hours. Without them, this process wouldn’t work nearly as quickly as it does now!
Do you want to get involved now that you know more about how our #SortingSystem works? You can sign up here!