Corporate Social Responsibility

CSR Partner: Feeding America

A vast food bank network uses technology to multiply its impact

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Small improvements in transportation and distribution management can have a big impact when you deliver nearly 4 billion pounds of food to 46.5 million people each year. Cisco technology and expertise helps Feeding America overcome the 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.

  • 200 food banks make up the Feeding America food distribution network.
  • 60,000 local agencies rely on those food banks to provide food for their constituents.
  • 7 million seniors and 12 million children struggling with hunger receive help from Feeding America.
  • 49 million Americans struggle with hunger.

How: Network technology streamlines a nonprofit network

Since 2009, Cisco and the Cisco Foundation have awarded more than US$2 million in cash and product grants to Feeding America to apply technology to improve efficiency and save money.

  • The Transportation Management System (TMS) automates many shipping management functions to increase efficiency and reduce transportation costs.
  • In its first year of use, the TMS saved $353,000, allowing the Feeding America network to provide an additional 3.5 million meals.
  • A common technology platform for enterprise and constituent relationship management is helping to reduce costs for transportation, purchasing, marketing, IT, and more.
  • The common platform especially benefits the 86% of Feeding America member food banks that don’t have an in-house IT staff.

Impact Multiplied

Cisco's investment has helped Feeding America reduce costs, improve delivery, and extend their capacity. Cisco employees also support Feeding America network food banks through donations and volunteering.

  • 9715 hours volunteered by Cisco employees at Feeding America network food banks in 2014
  • $2.5 million raised for Feeding America network food banks through Cisco employee donations and Cisco Foundation matching gifts in 2014, enough to provide 25 million meals*

"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

* Feeding America calculates that $1 provides the equivalent of 10 meals