Skip to Content
Author's profile photo Derek Klobucher

Feeding America’s Needy More Efficiently with SAP Mobile Technology

Mobile technology from SAP is helping streamline operations of a leading hunger relief organization in the U.S., the company announced Thursday. Truck drivers for Feeding America use SAP Mobile Platform-powered mobile handheld devices nationwide to instantly see how their daily inventory compares to the needs of food pantries and shelters.

SAP Mobile Platform Feeding America 05-31-2013-A.jpg
Forgotten Harvest driver John Whelan uses SAP mobile technology to more efficiently deliver food to the needy.

Drivers for Feeding America used to fill out forms for each item they picked up or delivered — and then the Chicago-based non-profit had to enter the data into its inventory management system. The new SAP solution lets the truck drivers capture everything electronically on a mobile device, which immediately sends that data into the backend system.

Data To the Food Rescue

“That was never tracked on our handheld system before SAP,” said John Whelan, a truck driver for Forgotten Harvest, one of Feeding America’s partner agencies. SAP TV followed Whelan as he collected surplus food from grocers and other retailers, and then distributed it to local charities using a custom SAP-powered mobile app.

SAP Mobile Platform Feeding America 05-31-2013-B.jpg
Forgotten Harvest rescued 47 million pounds of food in the U.S. last year.

The Oak Park, Mich.-based food rescue recovered 47 million pounds of food in the U.S. last year. May marked more than one million pounds of fresh food delivered in the Windsor-Essex region by Forgotten Harvest Canada.

“With the help of SAP and Feeding America, we’re going to be able to make our operations much more efficient,” John Owens, communications director for Forgotten Harvest, told SAP TV. “It’s going to revolutionize the way we rescue food.”

Cost-Cutting Technology

Feeding America has a nationwide network of more than 200 food banks serving more than 37 million people. That large scale means the donation-dependent charity must operate efficiently.

“Using mobile technology helps us reduce our operating expenses,” Kevin Lutz, Feeding America’s senior vice president of technology, said in a blog post by SAP’s Sebastian Kramer last year. “With every dollar we save, we are able to serve eight more meals.”

SAP Mobile Platform Feeding America 05-31-2013-C.jpg
Wisely using cutting-edge technology helps Feeding America cut costs.

Further keeping down the charities costs, SAP is donating services, training and mentoring over the project’s lifetime. The company also included software licenses covering Feeding America’s entire network.

Follow Derek on Twitter: @DKlobucher

Related Media:

Feeding America: Customer Testimonial Video” on SAP TV

Curious How Mobile Technology Fights Hunger? Check out the Feeding America Story” in SAP Business Trends

Charity rescues a million pounds of fresh food for region” in The Windsor Star

Assigned Tags

      You must be Logged on to comment or reply to a post.
      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      This is fantastic Derek, efficiency helps drive down the network cost, and visibility( from data) can grow the network by creating a pull effort for more food banks to join perhaps.

      Author's profile photo Derek Klobucher
      Derek Klobucher
      Blog Post Author

      Here's hoping, Ramesh! If you haven't already, check out Sebastian Kramer's blog post, which explains how this whole thing started with one man's dream to help the needy more efficiently.

      Author's profile photo David Trites
      David Trites

      Great post, Derek. Always great to hear how SAP helps organizations like Feeding America, Desmond Tutu Foundation, Direct Relief, and many more, make the world a better place.

      Author's profile photo Derek Klobucher
      Derek Klobucher
      Blog Post Author

      Thanks, David. I'm always happy to see companies walking the walk of good corporate citizenship.