Hello again! Barbara here – the Food Resource Developer for Good Shepherd Food Bank. I work with businesses like the Walmart Distribution Center (DC) in Lewiston to help them donate product that would otherwise be thrown away.
My co-worker Nancy Perry and I recently attended the Walmart DC’s General Meeting to present an award for the 747,721 pounds of food they donated in 2011, which translates into over 600,000 meals! That puts the Walmart DC into our list of Top 10 food donors.
Nancy and I first visited the Distribution Center in July 2011. The DC is huge (892,706 square feet), and filled almost to the ceiling with steel racking full of products. I had the opportunity to see the pickers working on forklift carts, and I’ve never seen anything move so fast! The entire facility is impressive; they even have a special room just for the bananas, because they need to be kept at a certain humidity level that is not good for other produce. When the DC sends the bananas to the retail stores, they are at the perfect level of ripeness for the stores.
In addition to donating food, the staff at the Walmart DC has been very generous in other ways, offering to mentor Good Shepherd Food Bank’s warehouse staff and brainstorm other creative ways they might help out.
A few weeks after our tour last summer, 10 managers from the DC visited Good Shepherd Food Bank and volunteered their expertise in key areas of our warehouse, helping us find easy ways to cut costs and increase efficiency. For every hour they volunteered with us, Walmart donated $100 to the Food Bank. Walmart employees are outstandingly efficient at their jobs, dedicated to the community, and eager to find ways they can help those who need it. We’re so pleased to have a donor like the Walmart DC!