15 hours each week on a paper-based process
Elder Care Alliance’s “Mercy Brown Bag” program serves 67 senior feeding sites in Alameda, California. The heart of this program is “seniors helping seniors” and distribution sites are both managed by and exclusively serve seniors.
Traditionally, the sites depended on Mercy Brown Bag’s central office to process paper enrollment forms and print client lists before each distribution.
Sites returned these lists to central intake for data entry by Mercy Brown Bag staff, who spent more than 15 hours each week managing this process.
Transitioning to paperless with Link2Feed’s food bank case management software
To encourage sites to be more self-sufficient and reduce paper-backlogs at the central office, Mercy Brown Bag decided to implement Link2Feed’s food bank case management software at all of their sites.
They spent several weeks training over 100 senior volunteers to enroll clients and take electronic signatures in Link2Feed. Among trainees was a 92-year-old exclusively Korean-speaking gentleman who was trained by a staff person who only spoke English (see picture above).
While some volunteers were initially nervous about using computers, they quickly adapted to Link2Feed’s step-by-step intake process and moved to paperless distributions within a few weeks.
Empowering seniors to help seniors
Now that the sites don’t have to depend on central intake, they’re empowered to better serve their community. They use Link2Feed’s intake questions as an opportunity to get to know their neighbors, and the real-time access to information allows them to efficiently manage distributions without paper.
The ease of use offered by Link2Feed’s food bank case management software has helped volunteers build confidence with technology, gain new skills and develop a sense of pride as they train other volunteers on the software.
“I love that Link2Feed helps us saves time and paper, but what I love even more is the pride it’s given our volunteers. One day a volunteer gave me a beaming smile and said, ‘I told my granddaughter I was in charge of the computer and she couldn’t believe it!’. Empowering our seniors to use technology to better serve their community has been such a fulfilling part of using Link2Feed- it allows us to truly live our mission of ‘seniors helping seniors’!” – Krista Lucchesi, Mercy Brown Bag Program Director, Elder Care Alliance