While we may be kicking off a new year, we continue to offer drive-up services for our clients. We regularly serve 350-400 families per week. When we started in March 2020, we focused on distributing food efficiently and safely, yet we always strive to do better. So we continued to adapt to improve our services to help people get what they need.
One of the best things about our SuperShelf
is that shoppers have always been able to choose the foods they prefer from a variety of produce, dairy, proteins, and non-perishables. In the early days of adapting to our pandemic response, we missed offering food choices and our shoppers missed having the options.
In late summer, we started piloting a texting application to improve our drive-up service. It allows us to connect securely with clients via text message, gives clients more control over their experience, and makes for easier language translation. We are currently using it to ask questions to understand what clients need and to offer food choices. Overall, the response has been very positive from clients, volunteers, and staff. It’s required adaptation from everyone and there is always help for those without a phone or with language needs.
We are the only food shelf in the State of Minnesota using this application at the moment, the improvements we make will be shared with other organizations who adopt it in the future.