CAFB Case study

In the fight against hunger and food waste, time is the enemy.

Collecting and distributing 45 million pounds of food can be a logistical nightmare — particularly when half of it is fresh produce. But the last thing that should come between a hungry family and their next meal is logistics. Harnessing real-time data and using it effectively are key ingredients in alleviating hunger.

CAFB logo

Building Capacity at the Capital Area Food Bank.

CAFB provides food to those who suffer from hunger in the Washington, DC metropolitan area by managing the distribution of nutritious meals among 700 community partners responsible for feeding nearly 500,000 individuals. The organization works tirelessly to combat the pervasive problem of hunger in the nation's capital.

Matching great need with generous donations.

Getting food to hungry people, when they need it, powered by technology.

CAFB knew that to stay on top of growing community needs and match supply with demand, it would need to embrace technology in a more holistic way. But the organization's leadership also knew that any investment in technology would require the full support of people, including staff, volunteers, and community partners.

CAFB engaged Pantheon to build a system made to work for people, not the other way around. Ultimately, success hinges on whether users like CAFB staff can act on the information to make data-driven decisions.

  • Technologies Used
  • Drupal
  • OpenERP
  • .net
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Partnered with Pantheon, and people at the center.

"Pantheon is taking the time to understand our staff's day-to-day jobs and identify ways to customize a database and CRM to meet the unique needs and mission of CAFB. Matching supply to demand, eliminating waste and communicating results are constant challenges. More and better data will help us stay nimble and responsive"

— Dan Shenk-EvansDirector of Information Technology

Pantheon worked with CAFB to develop and deploy a comprehensive data warehouse and a customer relationship management (CRM) system. Together, the tools merge data from multiple sources to serve up important points of measure around hunger needs, partner capacity, demographics of those served, budgets, meal nutritional values, staff certifications, and more. The technology not only captures the data, but also helps analyze what the data show, and facilitates timely response and communication.

The tools aim to help build partner capacity, identify and address unmet needs, collect data, and measure the impact of the CAFB network throughout the region. In the future, CAFB hopes to use the data to inform “hunger heat maps” that will identify neighborhoods where more meals are needed, and where help may exist to meet those needs. This kind of data can be eye-opening for donors; volunteers; education, health and social service professionals; elected leaders; and many others.

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