Professor Christine Jackson
Section 001, 10:30 AM
Team 16: Yellow Tigers
Joseph Heldt Alex Frazier Jiameng Wang Sijia Shao Ge Lei
Introduction Most people associate poverty and hunger as something that does not exist in the United States of America. Everyone sees the videos of people living poverty, but they are only pictures to us. We believe poverty is just something that happens in different countries, on different continents. Little did we know that poverty is right in our own back yard. It is hard to comprehend that here in the United States, in mid-north Indiana; we have close to eighty five thousand people that are battling hunger. Thankfully, in Lafayette there is an organization that was created to serve the people who are struggling to obtain food. This organization is a non-profit called Food Finders. Food Finders is organization that collects food that is past its sell-by date and sorts it whether it is fit for distribution of not fit. From there it is sent out and given to people that reside in sixteen different counties, spanning six thousand five hundred square miles, according to their website1. Food Finders has over one hundred and sixty agencies and delivers five to ten thousand pounds of food twelve to sixteen times a year. Food Finders Foot Bank has such a large footprint in the greater Lafayette and surrounding areas. Over half of Food Finders’ clients choose between necessities for their home and food in a day, according to their website. These numbers demonstrate how important this organization is the region and operating at its full potential can allow them to help more people and even pass out more food. Food Finders has accepted help from Purdue University’s Krannert School of Management on how to address some organizational behavior issues that reside in their organization. Currently, Food Finders is in great shape. They have a very healthy following from the community and Purdue University to help with volunteering. According to Food Finders, two-thirds of the volunteers are repeat volunteers. That is a very healthy number, but we believe we can help with some of their struggles. Because Food Finders in a non-profit, the battle is making a small budget work a long way and also finding nonmonetary ways to find good workers. There are ways to improve their current system, and if our improvements are put into place at Food Finders, stress will be limited for employees and performance will be greater from volunteers.
Define the Problem
There are multiple organizational behavior problems that reside in Food Finders. These problems are stress, motivation, and job performance. Food Finders, because it is a non-profit organization, battles several problems that many other companies do not have to deal with. The major problem stemming from being a non-profit organization is a very small budget, and from a small budget comes a severe lack of employees and a huge reliance on volunteers. The lack of employees has overloaded Stacey Baker’s, volunteer coordinator at Food Finders, role because she has to deal with the amount of work for three people on her own. Our solutions look to address the stress of Stacey’s job, look to motivate her volunteers, and look to better train the volunteers. All of this is an attempt to help Food Finders run more efficiently and improve commitment from its volunteers. Food Finders also finds themselves in a difficult situation when it comes to volunteers. Individuals become volunteers because of their desire to make a personal contribution to the society, and most of them believe because they are volunteering the time they spend there is up to them so they can arrive whenever and perform however they want. Although the volunteers cannot be handled like paid employees, their job performance in the warehouse and commitment to arriving on time or not backing out are problems that also need to be addressed.