Feeding Hawaii Together, a Hawai’i 501C3 nonprofit organization purchased a 10,000 SF building for a new food bank distribution center in the Kalihi District of Honolulu, O’ahu. We began work on a new website for the facility but noticed that their building was on a conditional use permit. was located at the end of a residential cul de sac, had a typical shopper load of 3-400 clients time thus required 150-200 parking stalls by zoning requirements, and that the site had only 12 available stalls. Through our experience in creating ChefZone, we knew they had a deep issue, thus lent our retail experience to solve the problem.
We created a drive-thru food bank business model anchored by a custom software application. Key features include a robust client membership system, e-commerce shopping, backend inventory, volunteer picking, drive-thru pickup notification and robust non-profit reporting.
Prior to designing the app, studies were conducted to determine the number of clients with smartphone devices. Study results showed that over 98% of clients had smartphone devices. For those who don’t have smartphones, on-site pads are available for volunteers to help clients place orders.
An added benefit of the app approach is that the COVID Pandemic hit during the design process, underscoring the need to change the business model from Clients self-picking in a warehouse to e-commerce shopping.
A host of additional benefits of the app model exist by way of the application up-taking client demographic and health status information as those on food assistance programs are obliged to provide such data. This creates grant funding opportunities that conduct health care and nutritional research. It also provides opportunities to educate and suggest the selection of food items to clients. For example, a recipe to teach a client how to cook an unfamiliar food item or to cook it more healthfully, or a client with a known affliction such as diabetes can be recommended to select a low-sugar version of a food product.
It has also been suggested that the application could earn The Pantry licensing fees from other food banks using the system. One 5-location food bank from California validated this concept by expressing interest in exploring licensing and/or a partnership relationship. On partnerships, the opportunity for multiple food banks to provide longitudinal research data could be a great benefit toward gaining funding and providing research data to better the human condition. Services provided include:
- Application Concept (Business Model, Design, Use Case, Tech Specs).
- SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) Cloud-based Application Coding, QA, Maintenance.
- New Brand (name, logo, URL, UI/UX, logo merchandise).
- Website Design & Development (ThePantry.org)