Last year 47% of our food came from FF + another 36% came to us as USDA/TEFAP (free commodities) via FF. Our pantry therefore relies heavily on the resources available at FF. I'm impressed with the staff at FF; they are always helpful to answer questions quickly and respond to the unique situations that arise at our pantry. The online ordering has really streamlined our process as we shop twice each week at FF. I've met on ocassion with Katy Bunder (FF director) and Kier Crites (FF outreach) and they have listened to our pantry's specific needs and given us helpful suggestions to make our pantry even more efficient. Right now we are holding monthly cooking classes for our clients, with the help of Purdue Extension, and FF staff is watching closely to see if this might be a model for other area food panties.
Ways to make it better...
If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...
Improve emergency access to food pantries need when they are facing empty shelves. In the present situation, orders must be placed with FF at least 3 business days in advance. We faced such a situation this week after having a couple of days exceeding 60 clients/day. I recognize that emergency access to food poses challenges for an agency as large as FF.
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