Lean Food Banks

Some examples of lean applied to food banks and emergency situations:

In 2011 Toyota approached the New York food bank and to provide support not in the form of funding, but in the form operational expertise.  Like many organizations, they predictably said it wouldn’t work.

Changes included the following results:

  • wait time for dinner cut to 18 minutes (20% of the time) from as long as 90
  • At a Staten Island food pantry, the time people spent filling their bags was reduced to 6 minutes (54% of the time) from 11
  • at a Bushwick, Brooklyn warehouse, volunteers cut the time it took to pack one box of supplies for victims of Hurricane Sandy to 11 seconds (6% of the time) from 3 minutes – see video link below

Full article here:

In Lieu of Money, Toyota Donates Efficiency to New York Charity, New York Times

After hurricane Sandy struck New York city causing extensive flooding, power outages, and damage requiring evacuation in Oct. 2012.  This created a situation where relief agencies had difficulties keeping up with food demand as much as 6 months later in the Rockaways, Long Island, NY.

Toyota teamed up with the NY Food Bank to deliver hundreds of thousands of meals to hungry people impacted by the hurricane.  A great example of skills-based volunteerism.


Toyota donates one meal for each view the video received.