One of the issues facing the most vulnerable residents of Indianapolis is food insecurity – and as the unemployment rate rose at an unprecedented pace during the COVID-19 pandemic, the demand on food pantries, community centers and other support agencies sharply increased as well. As these organizations sprang into action in March 2020 to serve as food distribution points for their neighbors, the task of restocking their food supply on a weekly basis from local food banks like Gleaners became a daunting task. Many were attempting to accomplish this utilizing their own staff and vehicles not well suited for hauling entire pallets of pre-prepared non-perishable food boxes and ultimately this task was taking them away from their role directly serving their community for hours each week.
This created a new challenge at the food banks as well. The increased volume of food pickups from agencies created a logistical challenge as personal vehicles were processed through the same food pickup area of the warehouses. As we observed this happening during our first few visits, we realized that our ExploreIndy and Kids Building Bikes truck/trailer rigs were capable of handling pallets of food and there was an opportunity for us to assist the over three dozen organizations with their weekly restocking needs while also reducing the volume of traffic at the food bank.
This initiative to increase the efficiency and impact of local organizations providing basic needs services to our community continues to be one of the ways Nine13 Logistics is making a positive impact throughout Indianapolis.