Toyota teaches food bank how to ramp up meals for the needy

The North Texas Food Bank was able to increase the number of families served by 60%, thanks to an unlikely new partner: Toyota and their TSSC support group.

The North Texas Food Banks’ Our Community Pantry in South Dallas used to be able to serve only 50 people a day on the four days they were open per week. But with Toyota’s help, the small pantry now sees 30 more people daily and has cut checkout times from 15 minutes to roughly three minutes.

Before using Toyota’s strategies, the pantry was struggling with long wait times for people to shop, even when they had appointments.

The solution: control the pace throughout the entire process.

The zones, which divide foods into groups like carbohydrates and meat and vegetables, helped cut down on wait times, which in turn allowed the pantry to serve more customers.

“Since we are all volunteer-based, when you work in zones, not only is it more efficient, but every volunteer gets to meet and greet every client that comes through,” she said volunteer Dina Dixon. “Everybody gets to interact with every single customer.”

The North Texas Food Bank was the first organization Toyota paired with when it began planting roots in Plano, said , vice president of the Toyota Production System Support Center.

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