Feeding Hong Kong acts as a bridge between the food industry and the hungry of Hong Kong, redistributing food otherwise destined for landfill to those who need it most. It’s the only food bank of its kind in a region where one in five live in poverty.
The charity has grown rapidly over the last three years as poverty and the environment have risen on the local agenda. It’s no longer fighting an uphill battle to raise awareness but rather working with organisations proactively seeking to curb food waste.
The rise in food donations has been a welcome challenge, but Feeding Hong Kong needed a better and faster way to process their inventory and get it back out the door.
“Like many food banks, we started out with a lot of enthusiasm but so few resources. We didn’t have the budget nor need for a sophisticated inventory management system so we used spreadsheets. Fast forward four years and we had simply outgrown this. We needed a more effective system that could help improve efficiencies and lower costs,” said Gabrielle Kirstein, Executive Director, Feeding Hong Kong.
The charity still needed the resources and IT expertise to get started and so turned to The Global FoodBanking Network (GFN) for support. Together, they sought out a technology partner to help build a solution that could ultimately be used by food banks around the world.
“We kept coming back to Salesforce as we had been using its Customer Success Platform for two years to manage our contacts. We knew it had the potential to do so much more. We also recognised the Salesforce AppExchange would give us and other food banks going down this path the ability to connect more business apps as and when needed,” said Kirstein.
By moving its inventory management onto the Salesforce platform and adopting more scalable processes, Feeding Hong Kong has achieved a 30% saving in the time it takes to collect and redistribute donations.
This time saving takes the pressure off when it comes to redistributing goods with a very limited shelf life. “In the past, we would work hard and fast to make sure short dated food went out the door before it expired. Now, everything runs at a more even pace and stress levels have gone down,” said Kirstein.
“More importantly, the time savings Salesforce gives us frees us up to help more people.”
Feeding Hong Kong is now embarking on phase two of their project to extract more value from the Salesforce Customer Success Platform. With the continued support of GFN, they are exploring volunteer and donor management solutions which will add more critical functionality for their food bank. This upgraded solution will provide a baseline package that GFN will make available to other food banks around the world.
“We have more data than ever before about our donors, our charities and our inventory. We want to build on this and use it to meet the needs of our charities more proactively.
We would also love to provide more food to more charities and offer a healthier combination,” said Kirstein. “The ongoing support we have from the Salesforce team in Hong Kong makes all the difference in helping us achieve our goals.”