A nonprofit organization is utilizing an online platform to feed families in need while reducing food waste.
Longwood, Fla.-based Feeding Children Everywhere (FCE) recently launched its Full Cart Fresh delivery of fresh produce programs that is delivered to the homes of families in need. Full Cart Fresh is an expansion of the group’s existing Full Cart program, a Virtual Food Bank delivering boxes of food directly to people’s homes.
“We have evolved from simply feeding people to better understand the overall health and nutrition needs of those we feed. Inadequate consumption of fresh produce has been attributed to the cardiovascular diseases reported by more than 70% of our food applicants. Now that we have this data, FCE has an obligation to expand our program and provide solutions that improve overall health outcomes for the individuals who receive our food. Partnering with farmers to bring fresh produce directly to the doorstep of those who need help the most, was a logical next step in our evolution,” said Chief Marketing Officer Tiffany Kobashigawa in a statement.
Full Cart is a Virtual Food Bank that addresses the root cause of hunger by identifying gaps in social services for individuals and families who may not qualify for or have equal access to nutritional assistance due to health, age, or lack of transportation.
“This new and innovative program bypasses barriers that prevent residents from accessing traditional food banks or pantries, by providing a box filled with nutritious food shipped directly to their front door,” says Sarah Davila, public relations manager for Feeding Children Everywhere.
Families in need visit FCE’s Virtual Food Bank website and complete the survey to apply for assistance. Once the box is funded by donors, it is shipped directly to the home of the clients. The FCE also works with partners who want to fund their own Virtual Food Pantries, where their specific community (employees, members, clients) can request assistance.
“We built our Virtual Food Bank to serve as a platform of collaboration for our partners. Through the program's online portal, families in need can request assistance, and in turn, donors looking to help their community can provide assistance,” says Davila. “Donations fund the cost of the items and shipping to get these boxes of food directly to our recipients' front doors. In this way, we are able to serve our clients with dignity and discretion, while honoring social distancing.”
FCE works with a collective of local farmers to provide "farm to family" fresh produce. Our Full Cart Fresh boxes are guaranteed to arrive at our client's homes within 2-3 days. Thanks to the generous donors who underwrite the cost of the program, there are no fees for families.
“This program is about dignity and discretion. Families in need can discreetly request food assistance online, and have a box of fresh produce delivered directly to their front door. We are dedicated to providing our clients with a quality experience, reminding them that they matter and that they’re worthy of fresh and nutritious food,” said Feeding Children Everywhere CEO Rick Whitted in a statement.
To better understand its clients' needs, FCE invested in technology. The group is building a software as a service (SaaS) platform focused on collecting and providing data that drives engagement and collaboration. FCE has a large range of generous donors from all different industries, including corporate sponsors, individual donors, faith-based organizations, municipalities, and foundations.
“Our goal is to provide the information needed for our network of partners to connect people to the resources they need,” says Davila.