Food Bank Uses FormAssembly to Distribute Goods During COVID-19

The Form Advocate

Justin Gilmore, Decision Support Analyst

Case Study Snapshot

When Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank (the Food Bank) set out to respond to a surge of need from the community during the COVID-19 pandemic, staff used FormAssembly to help build processes around new service expectations. While a web form platform has traditionally been extremely useful in supporting the organization’s ongoing volunteer efforts and partnerships, FormAssembly allowed the Food Bank to rise to the challenge of meeting diverse needs in the community during a crisis.

About

  • Maintains strong commitments to values like nutritional quality, food safety, sustainability, equality, inclusion and diversity
  • Operates a warehouse on the outskirts of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, for direct food distribution, SNAP benefits and more
  • With a network of 365 agencies, partners, and programs, the organization distributes more than 35 million meals annually throughout 11 counties of southwestern Pennsylvania
  • Engages more than 6,000 volunteers and distributes more 10 million pounds of fresh produce annually
  • Strengthens neighborhood connections to eliminate hunger and build better resources

The Numbers

31

drive-up distributions

3,269

individual food recipients

10 million+

pounds of food delivered to the community

The Problem

Adapting Processes to Serve Neighbors In Need

Justin Gilmore and the team at the Food Bank work year-round to support volunteers, food distribution efforts, community resources and strategic partnerships. The organization uses Salesforce to manage these functions and relationships from a high level, while FormAssembly tracks important data about community members and volunteers.

When the COVID-19 pandemic began, Justin and the team needed to accelerate the kind of work that was already in place to reach more people in the community. New tactics included services like home delivery and other targeted assistance.

With FormAssembly, staff at the Food Bank can avoid some of the more traditional pain points associated with data collection. Many times, there is frustration in having to continually train new users on using complex data in a way that makes sense. Pain points also revolve around data processing and extra coding, which FormAssembly mitigates. By using integrated web forms, staff members at the Food Bank are able to conquer these challenges without expending extra time, money or resources.

“We’ve had FormAssembly for as long as we’ve had Salesforce,” Gilmore said. “It’s very hard to imagine life without it.”

We’ve had FormAssembly for as long as we’ve had Salesforce, it’s very hard to imagine life without it.

The Solution

‘Find Food’ Guide and Doorstep Delivery Intake Form

In response to the health crisis, the Food Bank had to shift its processes to accommodate stay-at-home orders and to provide service to high-risk individuals. Through FormAssembly’s COVID-19 Assistance Program, they were able to implement an online reservation system for food delivery. This was carried out through the use of a hotline in which staff members took incoming calls and was able to provide food assistance recommendations along with other services.

“FormAssembly helps us make the program guidance we provide to those that we serve more interactive and needs-based,” Gilmore said.

FormAssembly helps us make the program guidance we provide to those that we serve more interactive and needs-based.

Use Case

The main COVID-19 use case involves an internal form that staff use when collecting information from callers who need assistance.

The COVID-19 crisis initiated a shift in distribution models, and the Food Bank began to take on a higher volume of calls from those who were homebound and/or at-risk. Going the extra mile during this time meant assigning three additional staff members to monitor the phone lines, receive requests and process home delivery needs through a FormAssembly form.

In this use case, there is very little additional training that has to take place with end users. The focused use case and the ability to use Form Assembly’s form builder made the internal process easy to pick up and use right away, which is vital in the midst of a high-needs time.

The current internal form works by creating a new contact record and opening up to six reservation service records for an individual or household. This allows the organization to provide a home delivery service while monitoring every piece of data coming into Salesforce.

Features like repeating sections and Salesforce object aliases, which offer dynamic form field recommendations for form users, allow for easy consolidation and visibility.

What’s Next?

In the future, the Food Bank hopes to build upon what the team has been able to achieve during the pandemic. This involves including new Food Bank programs and services that more staff members can use.

Additionally, as federal regulations evolve over time, staff members are hoping to expand the current use case. Although there have been recent waivers regarding income requirements, some of these adaptations may eventually shift back to pre-pandemic standards. As the legal and regulatory landscape changes, the mission of serving the community with flexibility and speed remains the same.

The mission of serving the community with flexibility and speed remains the same.

Want to learn more about FormAssembly’s pandemic response from a business and customer perspective?

Head over to our business continuity plan for more details. FormAssembly is also offering pro bono data collection services to organizations directly involved in the fight against COVID-19—visit the link below to learn more and see if your company or nonprofit qualifies.

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