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Meals Per Hour: A car company. A food bank. A mission.
Months after Superstorm Sandy devastated the New York City area, thousands of people were still suffering its after effects. For many families, that meant enduring crushingly long lines at local food pantries.
To help in the recovery process, Toyota partnered with Food Bank For New York City to create the Meals Per Hour project, designed to assist residents in New York City’s Far Rockaway who were still trying to get back on their feet in the wake of the disaster.
They worked together to see how the principles of the Toyota Production System could be applied to help optimize the meal packaging and distribution process at one of Food Bank’s member agencies, Metro World Child. The concept was simple: more meals packaged and distributed, more families fed.
As a result of changes put in place, Metro World Child is now able to deliver meals 18 times faster to New Yorkers in need, from 25 meals an hour to 450 meals an hour. Other improvements included:
- Assembling food boxes 16 times faster, from 3 minutes a box to 11 seconds
- Increasing the amount of meals transported in the delivery truck by almost 50 percent, from 864 boxes to 1260
- Decreasing the number of volunteers needed to distribute the food nearly in half, from seven to four
- Reducing the wait time for community members in half from more than 2.5 hours to 1.25 hours
A short film about the Meals Per Hour project was released and for each view the video received, Toyota donated a meal to Food Bank For New York City. Within only a few weeks we reached our goal of 1,000,000 meals donated.
“Toyota’s leadership in sharing innovative business practices and expertise beyond their industry exemplifies how creative partnerships can solve critical issues like food poverty,” said Margarette Purvis, President and CEO of Food Bank For New York City.
“Not only were we able to work together to dramatically increase the number of meals we can get into the hands of New Yorkers, the lessons learned from Meals Per Hour will play a key role in mobilizing our network more quickly and with fewer resources in times of disaster and extreme need.”