The holidays are right around the corner, which means it’s peak season for shippers. For most people, that calls to mind visions of retail: the Black Friday frenzy and Cyber Monday shopping. But the holidays are also peak season for food banks.
The pandemic and skyrocketing food prices have increased demand for food banks over the past few years. Hunger-relief organization Feeding America reported that at the start of peak season last year, 90% of food banks surveyed within its network reported escalating or steady demand for services amid record inflation for food prices. With 49 million Americans receiving charitable food assistance in 2022, food banks need logistics strategies to efficiently address delivery delays and supply chain bottlenecks.
This was the impetus for the partnership between Feeding America and Uber Freight. The nonprofit first collaborated with Transplace in 2011 to leverage its logistics technology and, over the past 12 years, the two organizations have also continuously worked together on charitable programs that involve Uber Freight employees volunteering at local food drives and meal-packing events.
Just last month, we kicked off our annual Deliver conference with a meal-packing activity to support Feeding San Diego. Participants gathered to pack 1,120 easy-to-prepare meals to send to local families in need. Attendees doubled down on their support by raising $26,000 at Deliver’s silent auction, with funds going directly toward the organization’s ongoing efforts to provide nutritious food to underserved communities.
“The partnership between Feeding America and Uber Freight is truly a strategic, purpose-driven partnership,” said Leigh Robinson, Head of People at Uber Freight. “We are taking the things we do best—our logistics technology, our services, our talented people—and we’re leveraging our strengths to help Feeding America achieve their mission.”
Leveraging Uber Freight’s managed transportation services is also a core aspect of the partnership—and one that’s critical heading into the holiday season. With this partnership, Feeding America is streamlining shipping operations, adding visibility into shipping journeys, and leveraging Uber Freight’s TMS and logistics experts, all in a unified effort to efficiently distribute meals to people facing hunger through its network of 200 local food banks, 21 state food bank associations, and 60,000 partner agencies.
“Feeding America’s mission is to focus on food insecurity being experienced by our community members and neighbors, and to try and close that gap,” said Shabazz Rah-Khem, Vice President of Supply Chain Operations at Feeding America. “There’s enough food out there. The real challenge is getting it to the right place, to the right people, in the right amount of time.”
Using modern TMS technology, Feeding America is able to efficiently and cost-effectively manage the shipping cycle, from planning to delivery. The organization has access to tech solutions that enable a proactive approach to logistics—from tools that expand procurement options to dashboards that provide enhanced visibility into real-time tracking data that helps plan for the unpredictable. Overall, Uber Freight is helping Feeding America make the most of every donation dollar.
During the holidays, and every other time of the year, Uber Freight plans to continue supporting Feeding America—from a charitable assistance and a transportation service standpoint. “Partnerships like the one Feeding America and Uber Freight have are very important,” said Rah-Khem. “They’re critical in order for us to be able to execute our mission.”