28 January 2021

Isobar and Salesforce digitilize food banks for the City Mission

 

Since 2015, the food banks of the Swedish Association of City Missions have redistributed surplus food from the food industry to people living in food poverty. The food reaches people in need of help in the form of meals, grocery bags or through social food stores. The food banks help to reduce food waste and food poverty and contribute to environmental, social and economic sustainability.

 

With requests for more detailed feedback from donating food companies, as well as legal requirements regarding traceability, the Swedish Association of City Missions needed to find a solution for digital registration and follow-up of the activities in the food banks. In addition to these requirements, the organization also wanted to be able to view how much food the food banks save from being wasted.

 

Thanks to project support from the Swedish Postcode Lottery and Vinnova, Swedish Association of City Missions contacted Salesforce and Isobar, who were given the task of developing a comprehensive but user-friendly solution. The prioritized features were:

 

  • A scanning app for easier registration of goods coming in, and going out
  • Inventory that shows what is in stock at a certain time.
  • A database with detailed information about goods and digital delivery notes to send to receiving social operations.

In 2020, Isobar developed a scanning solution and implemented and adapted Salesforce's platform according to the needs of the food banks. At the end of August last year, the four largest food banks in Stockholm, Uppsala, Gothenburg and Malmö used the CRM solution and the new work processes will soon be implemented in nine city missions nationally.

 

The new platform and the flexible and user-friendly mobile app have led to:

 

Digitization of previous manual work has resulted in a more efficient workflow with scanning of goods and fewer incorrect registrations.

 

  • Product registrations and digital delivery notes provide full traceability in the supply chain.
  • Overview of existing stock with product information.
  • Better and more detailed data and statistics that show the value of the food banks.

– The biggest effect of the solution being implemented in the food banks is that it creates conditions for handling much more food in a safe way ", says Anne Lunde Dinesen, project manager for the Swedish Association of City Missions' food banks. The non-profit sector handles less than 5% of edible food waste today, but the need for food is enormous. Between 1–4% of all Swedes live in food poverty today. So there really is an opportunity to let food waste and food poverty be part of each other's solution.

 

In the spring of 2021, the collaboration between Swedish Association City Missions, Salesforce and Isobar will continue with further development of the platform and the scanning solution. We plan to develop a digital ordering function for the social operations that the food banks deliver to and calculate climate value (Co2) of handled products.

 

Through the collaboration between the donating food companies and the Swedish Association of City Missions, food waste is reduced and contributes to reduced food poverty.

 

About the project

The registration system was developed as part of a larger project with the aim of developing the food banks that was implemented in 2018–2020. The project was financed by the Swedish Postcode Lottery with SEK 6 million.