Corporate Social Responsibility

CSR Partner: Feeding America

A vast food bank network uses technology to multiply its impact

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A small improvement in transportation and distribution management has a big impact when you deliver more than 3 billion pounds of food and groceries to 37 million people each year. Cisco technology and expertise helped Feeding America apply technology solutions to the significant logistical challenge of coordinating hunger relief across all 50 states, Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico.

Who: Hunger relief for millions

Feeding America is the leading hunger-relief charity in the United States. They secure food from corporate and government sources and distribute it to food banks that work with local charitable agencies in the United States.

  • 202 food banks make up the Feeding America food distribution network.
  • 61,000 local agencies rely on those food banks to provide food for their constituents.
  • 75% of people in the U.S. struggling with hunger receive help from Feeding America.
  • 1 million more Americans seek hunger relief from food banks each week than in 2006.

How: Network technology streamlines a nonprofit network

The Athena Technology Project provides member food banks with a common technology platform to manage enterprise and constituent relationships.

  • With US$1.4 million in cash and product donations, Cisco partnered with Feeding America on two key initiatives.
  • The Transportation Optimization Project automates many shipping management functions to increase efficiency and reduce transportation costs.
  • $1.5 million savings in transportation costs through better tracking, more backhauls, more accurate estimates and multi-stop deliveries.
  • 12 million more meals available from the expected transportation cost savings over five years.
  • 40 food banks piloted Athena to improve purchasing, marketing, and communications.
  • 300 new technology tools developed and shared by Athena community members.

Impact Multiplied

Cisco's investment has helped Feeding America reduce costs, improve delivery, and extend their capacity.

"What I love about the power of combining people with a technology solution is you can drive exponential results and make a real difference in the lives of so many people. This technology solution not only benefits Feeding America but it also benefits our 202 food banks that are stretched across the country to anticipate surges in demand and do things more effectively and efficiently which is going to lead to more food for more people." Bill Thomas, Chief Supply Chain Officer, Feeding America