How to Encourage Variety in the CSFP Food Package
Hello. Everyone, and welcome to today's webinar how, to encourage. Variety. In the CSS, PC, package, my, name is Jenna Walker and I will be the moderator today, before. We dive in I want to point out a few features of, the webinar environment, that were using for all and the. Top light we have a PDF of today's webinar. This, presentation, was sent out via email this, morning but it is also here if you would like to download another, copy at the, bottom of the screen below the slide is a Q&A, box if. You have a question, during the presentation you can enter it here while, it's fresh on your mind we. Will have three presenters during, our webinar and will answer questions after all these speakers events, we. Will not take questions over the phone but we will try to get to as many questions as, possible, you. Are also welcome to follow up with us via email. Let's. Go ahead and introduce, our speakers. For today. We. Have presenting, Christina, Riley, nutritionist. At the USDA, Food, and Nutrition Service food, distribution, division, ii. Will have made armsie, purchasing, manager at the Greater Boston Food Bank, and last. But not least we'll have Frank Kubek director. At focus, Hope Detroit so Christina take it away Thank. You Janel we're. Excited to talk about the topic, of variety, today and to, help everybody think about program, structure and operation, to provide the greatest benefit, to your client. We'll. Start off with a general overview of this concept. And. Then here on the ground examples, of how this is operationalized. By two programs. We. Understand, that every program is different and hope, that the information we share today will help you to think about some changes, you might. Mean to improve your program operations. What. Is your favorite, pfft, food, if. You ask your clients this question, you'll probably get a different answer for many of them. In. Any studying, it is hard to find one solution that meets the needs of all participants. Every. Client's diet is different, they're. Cooking resources, may be different, and their. Preferences, are different. Today. We're going to talk about how, to navigate those, various preferences, and try. To meet the needs of all clients. So. What is the goal of, the, tooth package distribution. Rate the. CSP. Program is driven by the food package distribution. Rate or, the guide rate. High. Rate aims to, achieve, first. Group. Balance. It. Defines, a required component to, ensure participants. Receive an optimal, balance of options, from, each food group to, support nutrition. And dietary, need. Second. Is consistency. In. Standardizes. The amount and type. A food provided, to program participants. Each, month and. Between. Locations. And. Finally. As flexibility. Irate. Provides the overall categorical. Requirements, that allows programs, to customize, the options based on local preferences. This. Is key. Vibrating. Tension, lis allows for flexibility, to. Adjust at the local level in, the. Decisions, that you. Make of what to put in the packet each month, is. Critical. To the overall variety. Of higher receives. Of. Course we, want to emphasize that while, meeting the guy rate of regulatory, requirements. Today. We want to encourage you to think about how, you're, fulfilling this requirement. So. Why is pretty important. There. Are a number of things local, programs should be thinking about, the. First is, nutritional. Means, this. Program, serves seniors, who have unique nutritional need in, the. Package, is structure, to support those needs. However. Each. Food in the package provides a different balance of nutrients. When. A variety, of foods are provided. The. Options in the food package, can help provide program participants. With. The types of nutrients, they need to support their health or. Example. Tara's. Kyrgyz, source of vitamin A but. Tomatoes. Or. Good source of vitamin C, and. Spinach, is. A good source of iron. But. Why beef is, a good source of iron well. A salmon, is a good source of calcium vitamin. D and Omega, threes. So. It's important, to provide a variety of options to. Ensure that clients get different nutrients. Back. In. Is meal, planning. Most. People don't eat the same food every, day for an entire month, so. It's important, to get purchase-to-pay options. To bury their menus, for. Example. You. Could consider giving, two different types of cold cereals. Or. A, whole. Zero and a half zero to. Give the participants the, option for. What they will eat at the practice time and. Then. Finally, is program. Value. Providing. A variety of options keeps clients, engaged in the program of, course. Not every client will like every item, but. Knowing that there may be variation. From month to month can. Help keep prices coming back. So. How do you achieve variety. The. First thing to think about is to plan in advance to, ensure that your, orders, and inventories, support, the options you have planned.
Work. With the state agency, or your local warehouse to. Ensure that you have the appropriate, inventory. On hand, this. May be handled. Differently depending on whether you bring in old truckloads, or. If, you order from the National warehouse. For. Example. To. Provide variety, from the National warehouse and the vegetable, group if. You know that you need sixty cases of vegetable, you. May. Think about bringing, in four different types of vegetables with. 15 cases each. Rather. Than 60 cases of the same type of vegetable. Secondly. Think. About salad being Alone's a calendar, that outlines which items. To include in the package. This. Can help you to visually. See which options are provided and, with. What frequency, or. Example. You. May know that dry beans are not as popular, in your location, but. You want to plan to get them on a quarterly basis, rather than monthly. It's. To have a calendar, to remember the next opportunity to provide that type of item to, meet the needs of the. Clients, that may write or, use this item. Next. You want to think about training volunteers and, staff, it's. Important, that without and chairs and staff are aware of the plan so. That they can help you to execute, it this. Includes, planning, with the staffs who place the orders and manage the inventory as well. As talking to volunteers, to. Provide the. Guidance unpacking, the boxes. For. Example, if you tell volunteers, to pack two cans of food, it's. A course easier. To pull two cans from this thing in case of fruit so, you, may need to instruct them at this month you. Want them to pass one can of pears in one, canopy, just in every box. And. Then. Finally, you want to take advantage of the flexibility, that is permitted by the guide rate, try. To provide. Variety in each, category where, this is an option for, example, two. Different types of cereal or, different vegetables, for, two different fruits. You. Can use the foods available list as a. Tool, to support, you in your planning process. This. Year we made some changes to the CSF p3s available, list to, support program, the. List shows a variety, of options available within, each, food group, and. Identifies. The specific nutrition. Attributes. Such. As whole, grain options in. Vegetable. Subgroups, to. Help you select a variety of different choices within, each food category. But. There. Aren't that many options, so it's really really hard to provide variety, this. Is something we commonly hear from program sites and participants. But. Let's look at a few categories, to examine this claim more closely. Let's. Start with the fruit options that are available. In. The juice category, for example. Each. Box is required to have two units and, there. Are five different types, of juice available. Which. Means that if you provide two different types of juice, you. Could have ten different possible, combinations. In. The fruit category. And. Two, units are required and, there. Are six different options in this category. Which. Means that, you could provide 15, different possible, combination. S. Means, that over the course of the year you. Could provide a completely, unique box. Each. Month. Now. Let's look at our vegetable, options, in the. Vegetable category or units, are required to be issued, there. Are, 11. Different vegetable. Options. Which. Means that if you provided one, option. I'm, sorry, for different options in. The box, you. Could have, 330. Unique, combinations.
Of Vegetables, that. Means, you could have a completely, different, combination. For. The next 27, and a half years. Let's. Talk a little bit about that advanced planning, and talked about sample, packing menus. When. Planning at your program it may be helpful to create a menu of choices for, each month. This. Is an example, of what a sample, packing and you could look like. You. Can develop it for orders route the year so. It is easy. To visually, see what, was packed in the previous month and ensure, a variety. This. Is another example of what one program, site created, to help guide their volunteers. This. Type of a packing list can, be customized. Each month so, that it is clear what's on the menu for the month and volunteers. On staff have a visual, guide for, what you include in the box. The. Way you set up your program can also influence, how much variety clients. Can receive of. Course there are many ways to operate, as the FFP program, to offer variety, to client and. We're. Going to hear from Ned and Frank how. Each of them achieved with of their program. But. Here are a few things to think about. First. Do, you offer clients the opportunity to. Provide feedback on, the food they receive if. So. How, do you incorporate this feedback. And. Secondly. Do, you offer clients a choice of items in each category. Frank. Will tell us a little bit more about how his programming, implements. This method. But. Of course are a number of different options to think about, for. Example you. Could provide clients with a list of options and they. Can select what they would like to receive in. The boxes would be custom packed, this. May depend on the number of clients that you're serving in a month but, it's certainly an option for some program. Next. You can think about having a shopping area or, doing a client, choice program, like Frank will tell us more about. In. This, model, the foods are displayed on pallets, or shoves and, clients. Can shop through the program and select the options within each category. And. Then. Finally, for programs who do more of a pre pack box model, there. Is a way to offer different, options, each month for. Example you, could pack a pop box, a, box. B and boxy. Inclines. Could see, what is in each of the options and select. The box that best meets their needs that month, of. Course, in this model, there. May be some boxes that run out sooner, but. That's okay as long as everybody gets a box that meets the guide. In. Closing, I would like to show what it looks like visually, when. You have a box that has no variety of options, in any of the categories and, one, that has a variety of options, if. You look at the Box on the bottom right it certainly, looks like more food, and. It looks more colorful, because. There are more different, types of food in the box. We. Hope that the information presented. Today, provides, you with something, to think about as you plan your program operations, in 2019. And. We hope that in Frank's examples, can, help you to figure out how to operationalize, some, of these messages, at, your local site, thank. You. Thank. You Christina for, laying the foundation. And how, we can achieve variety. In the CSP. So, I'm going, to go ahead and, turn it over to Ned Armsby to talk more, about what. He is doing at the Greater Boston Food Bank. Thank. You to know Cristina, and thanks for everybody on. The line appreciate. You hearing for me I'm. Gonna start just, by giving a brief overview of, the operation, here at GBF B and how our CSP program looks. And then I'm going to go into how we do our packing, and how I order, for those packs we. Do what. I call build a stock or a pre-packed, model, here, and. As you can see we are we did sixty two million pounds total, last year so we are Farley, a fairly large food, bank and we, have. Some somewhat, advanced software, we, recently. Switch. Systems, to NetSuite, and as, our accounting, system and AGI, is our, warehouse management, system, and we, do use a manufacturing. App in both, of those systems to manage the SFP and. I just wanted to call that out because. I, know some, folks maybe are not do not have those capabilities but. I do just want to highlight that some of the things we do in. The pre-packed model. Where we're building boxes here, on site and returning them to inventory, a lot, of what we do can be done with, a lesser, system, so it's not necessarily, required but, you have these systems but I did just want to be forthcoming, about what we what. We were able to do here at GBF B so. We're fairly new to the program we, joined in 2015. So we've only been in the program for three years three plus years our. Client, caseload. Is two thousand four hundred and fifty clients, and those. Clients, are at 35, different sites, which are all run by partner organizations. So. Our fleet, delivers, to those sites but then the distributions, are actually run by outside. Organizations, and they are certainly key to. What we do here with the program. So. With that said I just want to get into our.
Work Orders or how we pack, our boxes, so, you can see on the left there is an example, of a bill of material, that we use in our work orders all, of our boxes, are packed here on site by volunteers. And. During. The first year so in the program we really were struggling, with how to make. This program efficient. And to really optimize, it for our operation. And we. Were struggling a bit with how to how. To do these packs so, that they were. Planted. And, and. Worked well and we settled, on this, 288. Box, quantity. For each work order so every work order we do or pretty much every work or do we do is for that quantity, and the, reason why we chose that quantity, is it, palletized. As well we end up with eight nice pallets. Of 36, boxes, which. Shipped well on our trucks so, that helps. With fleet optimization. And then. For picking the work orders, 288. Is also. Divisible. By 24. So. It limits, the instances, that the Pickers who are picking this work order are having to break open boxes, obviously. They're still having to do that a fair amount but, by having, it be even cases, it, does limit the instances, of that and it does help with managing the, component, inventory. So. Each box we pack. Contains, two bags and, each, box, configuration. Has. A unique, item number, CSS. P1 CSF. P2 etc and. To. Date we've had over 75. Different configurations. Very, few instances where we've, actually repeated. The exact plan configuration. We, may have the same vegetable. Configuration. But it might be in the next month with a different, group of fruits or juices. So. We. Really, have seen a lot of different configurations in. Our pack. So. Want to get into a little bit how I how. I order, for. That. Packing, so each month we are doing either 8 or 9 work, orders, of. 288. Boxes, which. Is between, 2300. And just. 2,600. Boxes, which so are our caseload, is right in the in the middle they're so depending, on what our specific caseload. Is for. The month I might, be ordering for 8:00 work orders or it might be ordering, for 9:00 work orders and one. Of the reasons why I went, to this method, of ordering is in, our early days and the program I was, spending a lot of time each, time I placed a monthly order. Recalculating. Our our, inventory. Which. Was a sort of a cumbersome, process so. I realized, well if I order a full month's product every, month and we start at the. Correct inventory, level we're, going to have a our. Inventory, level is going to stay flat at that because I'm ordering, exactly, what's going out essentially, every month so that really has helped streamline, that process. So. Once the volunteers, pack up the boxes and you can see on the left there we've got a couple pictures of what a pallet looks like that's, the partial pallet and what the two bags in the Box look like so. Once those are packed they go back into inventory, and then are available, to be ordered, by, first, expiration, first out by the program team. Obviously. The cheese is not going in that box that is ordered and picked separately, and then goes on the truck with the boxes, and currently. With the dry milk every other month we're also handling. That outside, the box just, because it's easier to manage that way once we. Go to the new pack size we, will be adding that dried milk to the box every month. So. As far as ordering, the. Variety, you, see on the left here this is our nutrition, ranking system, which we recently went, to swap, which is a great, system that's very easy to understand, it's you know red. Light yellow light green light, when. We first started the program, just. To get our sort of our, feet, on the ground with it I was really only ordering, a couple green, items, in each category, and we weren't doing a lot of variety, in the early days but. Once we became more comfortable then that's, when we started to really. Rotate. The, items within each category and I will now order some items. That are ranked yellow there aren't many, items, in CSSP that are a threat I think the sweet potatoes. The only one that comes to mind possibly the beef stew so. I will occasionally order those but, generally I do try to spec within the green and yellow and that helps with our internal, nutritional, goals as well as with. Healthy, outcomes for the folks that we are serving there's. A few other things I look at when I'm making. My monthly orders seasonality. I tend, to order. Beef, stew during, the cold winter months, same, thing with hot cereal, I tend to order that more during the winter than I would during the summer, and we, do respond. To client, feedback we've heard early on that the spinach was not being well-received so we've discontinued, that also if.
We Do another when we do another survey and like I might consider, bringing back in and. I try to combine items, we're possible, if I'm doing pasta for the month I'll do spaghetti, sauce along with it if, I'm doing the beans. I'll, make sure that I'm doing rice, that month so it goes with the beans I try, we're possible, to order items where other. Clients, can make, a meal out of the items that they're getting one. Other thing that I definitely am looking at every month when I'm placing, the order is, expiration. Dating of our inventory that's, on hand, particularly. Cereal, if we have any items that are getting close to the expiration, that date, then. That is definitely, an item I'm going to be ordering, for next month pack because. I want to make sure that that product, that we have on hand gets, packed as soon as possible, and goes, out. So. This next slide here this is just a sample, of a. Shared. Google document, that I use. With, our state agency here, in Massachusetts. The last department of edie it's. A useful tool for us to communicate the, order I place the order through this order. Sheet and then. The, staff at the Department. Of Ed order it into, into. The USDA, portal, but, it's also a useful tool for me. To. Look at what I've done in Prior months, and to make sure that, I'm doing this rotation. Of items within the category so what you're looking at here is just one tab of the sheet this is the tab for the vegetable, category. And as, you can see each month I'm doing four different items I pretty. Much every, month within each category I'll. Do different items for different veg two, different fruit two different views. But. This is a nice visual tool, for me to look back and see what I've done prior, months and you can kind of get a sense for how I'm doing the rotation there, so, each month is a slightly different group of items you might get the same item every two or three months, occasionally. You'll get the same item twice in a row but by and large just every, two or three months. One. Other thing that we started doing about, about. A year and a half or two years ago as. A way to, increase. The variety beyond. The food package itself and to keep folks. Engaged. With, the program, is adding, on produce so in addition to the client, box that we're sending and the cheese and dry mail we, are also adding, on two, to three fresh produce, items, for each client usually, there are two to three pound bags.
And. We, found that this has been very well received it's. Definitely, an incentive for clients, to stay, in the program it. Helps. Address, the healthy, outcomes that are our, internal goals as well as goals of this program and, increasing. The overall produce. Percentage, that, we distribute. And. We, do a annual survey to the sites and the clients to see what kind of produce items, they want as well. As to. Get, a sense for how the box itself is being received. By folks. This. Next slide is just gives you a little picture of some of the produce items that we've been distributing, the. Graph. On the last year is, the variety of produce items, and that's not, surprisingly, the two highest volume items there are potatoes. And apples, we. Live in a state that has a pretty good apple, crop so that's always a good item, and. Then that other graph there just shows you the pounds of produce that we distributed. To CSFB, sites since we started doing that so you see. In the early days as we were ramping up and then. The. Dip each summer there when you see it sort of goes down. We. Believe thats due to the the product, mix that we distribute in the summer where we're doing a lot more lettuce. Greens, berries, lighter, type items. So. Just to sort, of wrap up for, us, I want to talk abut just about the benefits, of this, model, the, build the stock or the pre-packed model, and. Some of the ways that we do it it's, definitely, it. Provided, some efficiencies, for our pickers for. Our volunteers, but they're doing the packing and our volunteer, team that, manages, that pack they. Know exactly, what you know how many work. Orders they're going to have for the month they're picking they're packing the same item, for the month so it makes it easy for them to communicate with volunteers. It's. Reduced, the time that I'm spend. Or during and tracking, inventory level and. It. Provides. Constantly. Available stock, of boxes, for the program staff that are doing the ordering for sites, we. Do still of course have some challenges, which I'm sure we all do with the program cost. Of boxes, is one that we've that. There's, definitely, been been an issue for us and managing the boxes, getting, boxes, back from sites making sure that we're getting the most out of each box, but. These are things that we're working. Through. Occasionally. We will have odd quantity. Work order do, the expiration, date issues which sometimes. Makes. It a little less efficient, but overall. We've. Definitely have found that managing it this way has streamlined the program and hopefully provided. The. Variety, to clients, that we're looking for so thank you for your time, I'll. Pass it off to Frank. Well. Before you pass it off the Frank I'm just going to jump in there and say thank you so much for giving us more insight, to how the Greater, Boston Food Bank offers variety in, the CSS. Let's, go ahead and turn it on Frank. He'll be able to provide us with more information about how they operate, by choice model. Focus. Host Detroit, Frank take it away okay. Thanks Janelle and thanks Christina for making this webinar available, for us really appreciate it, and. Thanks everyone for being here today I work. At focused help in Detroit and weave in with CSSD since, 1971. And. Pretty much from early on we begin we began working with client chase model, he, went rogue Lisbon's moms and kids back then we. Think that that's a better, way of serving folks, allowing. Them to shop for themselves and. It's, worked for us all these years and we'll talk about it as we move along presentation. We've. Got an overview here do, I need to click on - ok sorry about that we. Have three food centers we have a monthly case about 43,000. We have a multi, County service area with additional, satellite distribution. Network. And then, we do auxilary, services. Now talk about those, later and presentation. About, what else we do in addition to distributing. The Mississippi commodities, the. Seniors, share for themselves they feel empowered, they're selecting the food they like and, the choices offered you.
Know They see themselves as shopping and we can get real important, you can see from the picture there, the. Couple, has the shopping, cart and they leave in one of our sites, and. I know that I've heard, I've. Heard a grandchild, one time we was here with their grandparents, they're walking in the door and a child says ok we're going shopping and, that, was pretty awesome to hear that because that's we want to do it we want to make this the best experience we can for, participants, of the program. What. We do we have our own answer, certification. A walk-in, basis, you don't need an appointment we're open Monday through Friday. See. Hours 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Wednesday Thursday 8:00 to noon on Friday. We. Do this it works for us because we, only distribute, CSP commodities, that's all we do in our buildings, is CSSP so we have our facilities, we have, a large caseload this. Does work for us but, it's not required I think because. Others are looking at this maybe. Your capacity, is the same as ours you, don't have them in the same days or hours there. You have a smaller caseload. Of you. Know whatever is is good for you you, customize, it to your site so if you do it once a week you do it, you. Know a couple times a week or however this. Can work it doesn't have to be at the hours or using the exact model that we're doing and the, picture that's attached. To this slide, you. Can see the certification, area where personal, coming is certified, and, we'll show this area in the background, that's nutrition, ed spot little. Later on in the presentation but, that kind of using an idea when you walk in you would sign up and get your own shopping. Lists will show that next and everything. Is done on-site there at, our facilities. Next. Is an actual shopping slip or one that I should say I made up but. It's pretty much accurate in terms of what the. Client, gets when they come into the door, each. Participant, gets this it's a guide to help them to shop when. They go through the line for the commodity you can. See the different items, we have listed, there. We. Can tailor, that we can change that daily, if we have to run out of an item put. In the additional selection. Up there it'll, help them know when they go into the line what's available and I just I see, we've got here chili, beef, stew. Things, like that mixed fruit peaches you can make the choices you want and if we run out of an item we'll, change it that day or that the following day we, do these lists monthly, though so we don't have the same items each month we'll, make the change on them so. That, we. Want to make sure there's a variety and.
Much Like Ned said looking at the season, the. Compatibility. With some of the items in availability. As well we, can add on to that we can make this different, each month you'll get the same food package, per se but, different items within the food group and we, think that's a great way to find, get feedback from the clients in to what they like but. Also to give them a different different. Menu. Each month. And, here's an example of the couple who are shopping in one of our sites, they've. Got this lip that taking, the items they'd like to pick out we. Do have. Volunteer. Assistance, not, all our seniors can pick up the audience even if it requires just reaching out sometimes, so that be aware that was seniors that. They may have challenges, even. Gathering, the items so. We would have volunteers, but, the supermarket. Chat mister I think is really important, for folks to come in here and say we considered shopping, these are shopping days and as we heard the grandchild, refer to shopping and, in the building the, shopping cart is super important, there. Is a lot. Of food that folks can pick up and, so especially couples who may be getting two packages, two. Boxes definitely. Shopping carts move the items a loss that's real important, to also but to create the supermarket. Experience. When you come into our sites, so. That's one of our one. Of our three sites there in this photo in. The next slide we have a two other, site. The. Photo to the upper. Left, there you see volunteers, helping, the senior there get the items gathered together for the box, and. Then take. You to the bottom right that's, another site of ours it's not as large as the other two our other two sites and. The seniors once again have the slip that you see them using the, shopping, cart they're, going through the line and taking the items that they'd like to you to pick within those within. The selections, that they're eligible for so, works. Out real well for us in terms of the, response from the seniors, with. This shopping. Client. Choice method. On. The next slide we have our checkout, we. Do have a scanner, we, do have a computer at the checkout counter, the. Rates, are put into the computer so that you can't go over the items allowable. You can't take three. Containers. Of juice instead of two etcetera, it's all controlled, by that so if you scan an item you get the beep beep because you've, gone over so, that's really great for inventory, control. We. Don't have cash register, and I think that's really important. When you're talking about the shopping the folks feel they're coming in there but no cash register, at all so. You. Know loans are provided free but you're shopping now. This doesn't have to be done this way, you. Can do it manually as well as long as I've been with the program I remember, the early days we. Wrote, out everything, we had a list when, you went to the checkout counter, everything. Was checked, off the list again. Against the maximum, amount so it was done a little differently no, computer to correct you but, you would have a list such, that you really how do you beat to go over the rate but. It doesn't have to be computerized. Or have a scanner. Certainly. With just having seen your package now as opposed to all the moms and kids packages, it's a lot easier so if you don't have a the ability to do this it doesn't mean you can't do the client choice now that's really important, that you. Can still be done it doesn't necessarily have to be done this way. Now. Our. Checkouts. Are not tied in to. Our inventory, in our warehouse so. We, don't have that ability we. Still have to do the manual count we still have to answer in it everything to a 153. We have an activity, report, of what goes out the door in terms, of the checkout but, we do everything else pretty much manually, we'll count everything and, then, enter. Everything into the. To. The 153. Now. This next, slide. Is what the participant. Gets and signs off on that. Would be the actual food package going out the door and. It's. You. Know it's accurate to get everything you scan but, again, this doesn't have to be done this way if you're doing it manually with. Writing. Things out it, can work for everyone for whatever. Operation. I think whatever your resources, or ability is you can, make this work for yourself and, that's. Just an example there of what it an, invoice of someone leaving the facility. Would. They. Sign off on that that's a food they actually received. Our nutrition, education, was important, component, of our program, and. As. You can see from the upper left hand picture we've. Got the. Recipe. Is being prepared and handed out, over. In the right upper, right-hand portion of that photo.
You See the video, monitor and. We've kind of brought that down under. That photo you can see we have nutrition. Education information. On a video things. That are helpful useful to seniors, who are, picking. Up food there and to. The right we. Have a rack. Which has recipes, which, has other nutritional, information and. I can say the FNS. And the FSIS, websites are. Great resources for, materials, for these these, racks for your clients, in terms of, providing. Them with really. Helpful stuff not. Only about, our, commodities, but just food in general and food safety and, how. To stretch out your food dollars, there's a lot of great information on those sites so. We tap into those frequently, and everything is free and we place orders, and, were able to put those up for. The folks to use it's. It's. A great way of again. And what I give them folks the information, they need for. Staying. Healthy and, utilizing. Our food to the max we, do have a commodity, of the month when, we do our hand our recipe, sheet we will have a commodity, that's highlighted. Particularly. Month, again. Based on some. Time to see them and. What we want to stress and I think with the new food package coming out will really take a a good look at. Implementing. That in our community commodities of the month. On. The next slide I mentioned earlier, in the presentation our, auxilary services, we. Know that seniors, struggle. With other needs and have other other issues besides, food, and so, we're fortunate we have a lot of partners, that will work with us here in our community, call, for health screenings, offer additional, food, services. For income tax prep and. I've put, a few pictures here the. Upper-left-hand, that's. Our energy provider DTE, who, has they both hear that, help seniors, with their energy, bills, they, have a program that gives them some relief and their excessive, are behind in their bills a lot, of seniors come for this we, sign them up for our program it's a great way of outreach all these services, a great outreach materials, for our program, you've, got eye screening, there and blood pressure checks Detroit. Eastern Market. During. A one, weather month has. A produce, stand they, accept snap, snap. Coupe, benefits. We. Work with on food banks in the area here provided extra food basically produce and dairy products, and, the.
Vehicle At the bottom-right-hand their corner. Is the mammogram, en Emma st. John Providence, Health, System that contain. Those monthly have a mammogram is on site all these services are provided the, services, are free obviously the Eastern, Market stand, would be given. Either SNAP benefits and, other ways of purchasing. That but, these are services, that the clients, really you, know participate, in they enjoy we do flu shots a lot of things and, it's just a way of bringing people into our sites some, of them aren't even aware of the programs this is great outreach for us and our, clients are great great, to participate, in these programs as well so trying. To just build a whole. Center. Of opportunity, for seniors to come in but it starts with the CSP, package and the shopping model, so at. This point I'd like to thank everyone and turn it back over to you, know. Thank. You Frank really appreciate, you giving us a glimpse into how focus, hopes and offering, the client, choice model, so, we have had several, questions come, through during the presentation, and I want to dive right into those questions but. Before I do we, do have contact information, for our speakers. On. This slide we, have Christina, Riley met on the and Frank Kubek their email, addresses are here so, you haven't already downloaded, the presentation, or received an email feel free to do so by downloading, downloading the, file in the right corner, top. Corner of your presentation. So. I'm going to go ahead and jump into questions, and while, I do that I am going to open up. Idle survey questions. We wanted to know how we've done with this particular webinar, and, it's going to help us plan for future webinars, so, feel free to answer the southern questions while we dive right into question. And answer so, my first question is going to go to med, our. Participants. Want to know why do you pass the items in bags as well as boxes, do you have any feedback for pocket limit yes. So and and I apologize, I probably should have covered that so the boxes, actually, come back the, bags go, to the clients, but. The boxes, come back to us and we reuse. Them, three. To four times they, are fairly. Sturdy and fairly expensive so. That. Way that was one of the challenges, I mentioned, there's managing, those returns, from sites and really trying to optimize. The. Expense, of those boxes, that's definitely an ongoing battle, but, the, box goes to the site but does not go to the client only the bags go to the client so that's why it's bags in a box. Right. Thank you our next, question is for free do. You find that the shopping, pack. Your own model cut down on volunteers me. Well. We have volunteers. Who who. Do the opening. Of the boxes, in the back we kind of ending up in the back. Before. We bring it out to the shopping area we, have them help with the packing, of the, boxes. At the checkout, counter and carrying the food to the car so, actually gives a lot of chances for allen tears and also, helps them interact with the seniors with that okay I'll pretty much enjoy such pretty, good opportunity for volunteers. I would say. Thank. You so much I do. Have another question for you so. How do you secure, the commodity, while it's in your shops in other words how, do you prevent shoplifting of, inventory, and do you have many incidents. Of shoplifting. No. That's not really a concern, the seniors, that come in here. They're. Good about things and certainly. We keep an eye on everything you, know we don't, want any problems and we're, aware that there. Could be problems outside of our building so we're. Aware thing to do certain things to make sure that none of that comes. Inside but we've really had no issue with that at all I think that would be you. Know something to think be aware of but, it's not really an issue at all the seniors are great and I really appreciate, you, know how they work with us and make sure everything goes well. That. Is good to hear. My. Next question is for Ned Ned. You. Said that you pack, 288. Boxes, at month, do. They pack multiple. Configurations. In the same month or is this just to manage smaller quantities, at a time for volunteers. Yes. We do, 288. Boxes. At each pack, and we do eight different. Packs. Of 288. Boxes, a month and by. And large each, of those, packs. For the month is the same configuration. So for the whole month we're, pretty much packing, the same box. And, then the next month will be a different, box now. I I said most of the time there are occasionally, times where I need to do a. Couple. Different configurations. In a month or we're running you, know we have an expiration, date issue so I do a small.
Work, Order for a, different, configuration but. By and large we're. Packing the same configuration. All month, long and each. Each, pack, is 288. Boxes, and I. Had mentioned before that that quantity worked well for palliative. Ation, and for picking it, also works, well for the volunteer, groups because it takes roughly. A volunteer. Shift for. Our group of volunteer, our volunteer. Group size to, pack those 288. Boxes, of fluids we've, kind of determined. That that is going to be ideal pack, for us. Hopefully. That answers your question. Thanks. I. Actually have one more question for you well not one more but another, question, where. Does the fresh produce to distribute, with the SSP come from and is it donated. It. Comes from a number of sources, but I'd say the majority of it in donated. We. Are also including, that. Produce, in there which food, bankers will recognize, that term so that's. Value-added. Processing, so. Product that is donated, by, farms, and sheds and food banks pay the the cost. To ship and, to pack the product so we will use, that. Donated, stream of produce we. May use, product. That's purchased, with a state program we are lucky enough to have here in Massachusetts. Where we purchase from Massachusetts. Farms that's, called me fat which is Taylor. DAW fatty fat so, we might, use meat that product, it sort of depends what we have available but, because. The site's the clients that are served by these sites, are. These. Are emergency food providers pretty, much all of the produce that we have in the building these sites are eligible, to order so it's really a question of, which. Items are available at, the time that we're ordering but it could be donated, or purchased. I'm. Going to jump back to Frank's. Most. Of our deliveries. Are at a low-income, housing, site with. Your model do you feel you are missing people, because they are not able to make it to the food center I. Know. I, would. Say no because we have about 260, agencies. We deal with on a monthly basis, not everyone, comes to our client, choice sites. So. We do have community. Centers. Neighborhood. Building. Senior, centers apartments, we go to says. Over 260. A months we are covering a lot of ground that way, and. Certainly not as much as coming to our food centers but, we do reach, seniors there and we also reach homebound seniors so if you call an, individual, calls and have some issues. That can't get here we, will make sure this really gets delivered to their home so, we do recognize that with seniors, not, all them are mobile they can get out so it's. A balancing act we have between our centers and our satellite agencies, but, so far we've got a great response.
In The community and. We mentioned volunteers, earlier this is a chance for volunteers to help as well so we. We do have a balance there between the, who come to our sites and those who go to the agencies and get homebound deliveries. Thanks. Right I have another question for you how, do you do a client, choice it has, to go out in a kick. Well. That does become an issue then now, we do it's. Hard for us to do as many individual. Boxes, the. Way the client choice because, we do have a large you. Know over ten thousand of our participants. Are. Getting food through, the feedback boxes, now, we will work with agencies that they have certain. Issues. In terms of cultural. Issues and food that were issuing that they may prefer one product, to another we'll try to tailor those boxes, but, it is difficult to do that for individuals, maybe. Some of the home bonds we can but for going to an apartment building for example it. Is difficult, they may get one box that pretty, much have the same thing for everyone in them. Our. Next. Question is going to be for Christina. So, the, participant, as I'm guessing, some states are not doing direct shipment if they are ordering monthly, could you provide more context yes, so there are two different ways to receive food drusy, SSP, there's an option of ordering, direct, shipments, to a state warehouse, and there is the option of ordering through, the National warehouse there's. A national warehouse you can receive smaller quantities. Of the. Food so it's ideal, for a smaller program site, and, now. I'd like to throw it to Ned and frame, to talk about how you, are doing your ordering how frequently, and what model you use, so. Let's start with Ned. George. So yeah we are using the National Multi. Food warehouse or, so one in Syracuse, that we get our order from we. Get two truckloads a month which, is one. One, order which comes on two trucks, and. While. I'd love to order. Direct, I know the the the cost is less ordering, that way the, size. Of our caseload, and the way we're managing managing. A program currently just doesn't really. Lend itself to that at this point. And. We use the national ordering system as well but we get direct shipments for the most part we may have an occasional. Shipment. From direct, awesome where multi. Come, in but the most so get direct shipments. And. Again it depends on the item there's certainly some of the items you order annually, some quarterly some monthly so things. Come in a pretty good taste we. Have about 40, trucks per month semi, to come to our warehouse. And. You. Know I been. Here a long time and I think the system is, the best it's ever been. Clarify. The, difference between I. Says. They still get full truckloads through the National warehouse because their volumes are large but, the difference with the products. That are coming through the National warehouse is that it can be a mixed, load versus. The direct shipments, would be all one product, in the truckload. Thank. You. Frank. How do you ensure, each senior, receives a complete food package, if the senior once there's a crime items, such, as a thing you may not want any fruit this month because they already have enough how do you ensure they receive a complete, package, well. We do give them the option and we do get some refusals we don't get many, you. Know we're going to be talking. About less than, probably. A hundred, 100 ish I think overall some of these items and, yet that is part of the. Choice. By coming in and shop you know we've everyone, everyone, has that option and. I think sometimes where we try to encourage the seniors to do is take the full package some. May feel and I think we'll find this with some of our seniors in terms of even sign up for the program but. If I take this someone else doesn't get it so we do our best let them know that there's enough food to go around if you're on this program, you're, entitled to a full package, but we do get some refusals, and I think.
That's Part of what you. Know a client. Choice does offer that yet, I would say the percentage is very very, low and. Just. The items you probably would think that people would not be used by you know with. One necessarily, a hundred, percent of other piece come in but, for the most part they pretty much take everything, but, not every I can't say not everyone that comes in gets that when, we do deliver the agencies, in the homes you do get the full package. Okay. And the. Last question for you once again to, tell us what has been your biggest inventory. Challenge, with the client choice model. You. Know the challenges. Pretty, much I mean it kind, of dates me in terms of what some of the challenges were I think those who were here I've been around a long time remember the old generic. Black and white labels, Neal you know that had, they. All look the same so, when, people are picking up their food and, even when they're at a checkout counter, sometimes. Those I didn't, blend together because, the labels were basically the same they were white with maybe, a little color that said well you know, orange. For orange juice would be something. So he has I guess, those old-timers, like myself have been doing this a long time that, was the biggest challenge a checkout was to. Make sure that, you. Kind of the cuttings, correctly going out the door with, commercial. Packaging. With. Having, only one food package, now with seniors, in for. Us with the scanners, there. Aren't very many problems, I mean, there's. Not too many opportunities for mistakes, in the area so. I would say, very. Few and, that's just my, experience with it others many have others, responses. But my experience has been that there's very few inventory. Issues with, the senior, food, package now. Well. That is really great to hear I want. To thank our presenters, for providing best practices, on how to encourage variety, in the CNF Ft food package, and I want to thank all of you for joining us today the, webinar, was recorded and. We will send all participants, an email when it is available on youtube if you, have any additional questions please, don't hesitate to contact us at USDA food, at SMS. At, USDA, dot-gov I, just, want to send a quick reminder that if you would like to sign up for our monthly letter, you can do so in the bottom right of your screen. And that is it for today thank you so much.