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    Ollie Rothmann By Ollie Rothmann • January 20, 2021

    Even After The Pandemic, a Food Bank’s Work Is Far From Over

    As the COVID-19 vaccine distribution continues to ramp up, a glimmer of hope shows itself at the end of this long, dark tunnel. However, there is no question that there is still a critical need for food banks in the short term.

    Even After The Pandemic, a Food Bank’s Work Is Far From Over

    One of the most publicized events during the pandemic has been the ongoing need for food. As ten of millions of people have found themselves laid off or furloughed, food insecurity has ravaged our country. We see viral video coverage of mile-long lines of cars waiting in massive parking lots for hours just to collect food. So, where is all of this food coming from?

    Food banks are one of the only lifelines in the efforts to counteract food insecurity. In her article titled “Food Bank Emerges as Key Service During Pandemic”, Zoe Tribur highlights the elevated level of service needed from a small number of food banks responsible for serving most of the San Francisco area. For every single food bank, not just in northern California but around the country, the demand for food has increased twofold and with no signs of stopping. Lauren Lathan Reid, the Director of Communications for the California Association of Food Banks (CAFB), explains that “it takes a really long time for hunger levels to go down. It’s not going to be over anytime soon.” There is a widespread belief that food insecurity is going to simply vanish once the majority of our population are vaccinated. However, this is far from the truth.

    “It takes a really long time for hunger levels to go down. It’s not going to be over anytime soon.”

    Why does this matter? Well, with the increased demand for food, there has been a major uptick in philanthropic support for food banks around the nation. Many have brought in thousands of first-time donations. However, there is a lot of behind the scenes administrative work that goes into logging, acknowledging, and cultivating these donors for future engagement. While this increased support is allowing organizations to scale its service, the administrative duties aimed at retaining these donors for years to come are insurmountable.

    Gravyty provides the tools necessary for these fundraisers - many of whom have been reassigned to distribution duties due to the increased demand for food - to efficiently steward donors and drive sustained giving in the same personalized fashion that they normally would. Gleaners Food Bank of Indiana has seen an influx of over 7,500 first-time donors and are able to acknowledge and cultivate these individuals personally, while also weathering a 106% increase in demand for food with the purpose of ensuring that these first-time donors return to support next year.

    Curious how? Don't miss your chance to learn how artificial intelligence empowers fundraising teams to personally connect with more donors at scale in our January 26 webinar featuring Debbie Russell of Gleaners Food Bank. Debbie will dissect how AI allowed Gleaners to handle the holiday rush and ensure that fundraisers personally thanked every donor.

    Register to save your spot today!

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