The COVID-19 pandemic has brought with it many challenges for Daily Bread Food Bank: adjusting our operations to ensure food deliveries to agencies and clients are uninterrupted; thinking creatively about our fundraising activities as many have been cancelled due to public health regulations; and meeting the dramatic the dramatic increase in client visits.
To meet the projected need, based on our current state and taking advantage of the generosity of our community, Daily Bread decided to increase our purchased food budget by 60% for our 2020-2021 fiscal year, from $1.5M to $2.4M.
By August, it was clear that our spend on food was out of sync with that budget and we were on a trajectory to spend approximately double that number by the end of this fiscal. We needed to solve the puzzle of why this was happening, and come up with a new approach to present to our Board of Directors.
What did we know?
- Regarding demand, the number of people accessing food banks has risen by 41% year over year. We also chose to increase our food for each client to a goal of 3 days worth of food. As a result, we have moved from approximately 2.1 days worth of food, to about 2.7 days worth of food per client.
- From a supply perspective, food donations have increased, but are not keeping pace with the number of people coming to food banks, and the increase in food per client. In our last fiscal year, donated food represented 83% of the food we were delivering to our network; we are now tracking closer to 62%, and relying on purchased food to fill that gap.
Our Finance and Operations team have worked to present the puzzle, the options forward, and a recommendation forward for our Board of Directors as to how to solve.
They accepted an approach that will allow us to maintain the 2.7 days of food our clients need, and increase the budget to approximately $4M for the fiscal year. The accepted proposal includes a mechanism to connect the budget to total client numbers – ensuring that we have access to funds when our community needs them the most. Finally, we have committed to reviewing the variables on a quarterly basis, and presenting up-to-date analytics on how supply and demand are impacting our supply chain.
To support Daily Bread Food Bank as we ensure everyone’s right to food in these difficult times, click here.