Specific Problem Facing our Food Pantries 3
Alternatives Considered and Solution Selected 3
The Goal of the New System 4
Details Concerning the Solution 5
Cost Benefits 7
Works Cited 9
Specific Problem Facing our Food Pantries Have you ever volunteered at a food pantry? If so how frequently? Well if you have volunteered very frequently at a food pantry you may have notice there is a ton of food and many times it is a free for all when it comes to handing the food out to the needy. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a way to track the amount of incoming food and outgoing food? Furthermore, be able to track what families are receiving the different varieties of foods to ensure needy families are receiving what they need. One also needs to track income, family size, as well as a way to track each person in the family by an identification method to ensure families are not taking too much or too little. There is only a certain amount of inflow to the food pantries; therefore it is imperative to ensure all families are receiving the food distribution that was intended by the food pantry in the first place. As a volunteer at the local food pantry I have too many times seen needy families not receive what was needed, and also have seen many families take way more than what their family needed. This is way my group has dedicated the time to look into an effective tracking system for food pantries.
Alternatives Considered and Solution Selected Several tracking and inventory systems exist to manage in house products as well as those that have been sold. The system that needs to be put into place has to be both practical and fit a budget based on state or local government funding, therefore it is safe to say it would be put on a rather tight spending allowance. Alternatives for a tracking system for the pantry inventory would include the numerous commercial tracking systems in place already (RFID, and UPC), but also of open source software in which data, tracking info and recipient info would be input and updated manually. Due to the fact that budget is tight, and manpower relies on volunteer work, the system we are in search of needs to be passive and low maintenance, as well as not require too much labor due to labor being a scare commodity due to the labor force being primarily voluntary.
This system will be outsourced due to the lack of talent with technical skills within the organization. The outsourced company will be expected to utilize the SDLC steps to ensure the food pantry gets a quality product. Ensuring that the seven phases are utilized in the creation of this information technology is imperative to the success of the new technology. Furthermore, the third party vender will need to help all the way through the testing, implementation, and then maintain the maintenance of the new technology as well. Therefore, it is important that a good report is built with the vender tasked with the responsibility of building this technology for the food pantry. With these factors considered, the most practical and cost effective system would to create a program that will scan good received and link it to the individual getting the products, such as having them enter their SSN# for tracking purposes. For example, the UPC code is universally recognizable, and all packaged goods within the kitchen would have one. If the people who received the goods, entered their SSN#, the goods were scanned and linked to their “account”, when they revisit the bank, the staff can see what they have gotten before.
This program would be networked at every food bank to stop people from abusing these programs and increase the likelihood of needy families getting the complete nutrition that they deserve.
The Goal of the New System
The goal of tracking food pantries and having the new system implemented is ensuring everyone and every family has their food source met, moreover each one