AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - New technology is could help the High Plains Food Bank save food that would normally be thrown away.
Even though the food bank is always looking for non-perishable food items, they are also looking to expand their Food Recovery Program to help alleviate hunger throughout the panhandle.
The High Plains Food Bank is now looking into a new app called MealConnect and are trying to determine how it will fit in to our community.
"We have a Food Resource Manager whose job is to set up the contact points at each location. Says Executive Director Zach Wilson, "We are looking into it more to see what it will mean for us"
MealConnect is not necessarily for individual donations. The app allows businesses to create a free account where they can upload information about extra food they have to donate.
"Longhorn, Olive Garden, Chick-Fil-A those are just some that we serve on a daily or weekly basis." Says, Wilson "We always have the need and necessity for more to come on-board."
To keep with public safety regulations, the High Plains Food Bank works to get food in from suppliers and out to distributor's within 24 hours. MealConnect helps to get food in and out the door as soon as possible.
"It will hopefully speed up the time if it works out for us for to pick it up send it out the door." Says Wilson, "Time is always the essence when you are looking for food safety when working with perishable food items and that is what technology presents as an option for us."
Perishable food items make up a decent portion of the food banks annual distribution, so hopefully the new app will help bring in more food to feed hungry families in the Panhandle.
"It can be anywhere from three to four million pounds a year out of our total distribution." Says Wilson, "When you count anything that could be a perishable food items"
Even though the food bank is now testing out the new app, they are not officially using it. Although there are many advantages in speed and efficiency, Wilson believes there are also some downfalls in a town our size.
"Not only just having that conversation while picking up the food but saying hey how are you doing and giving some quick food bank updates." He says, "That's in part what we like is the relational aspect that technology can't fix. But, we are really looking into a hybrid of both that would help us get the food out the door as quickly as possible."
If you are interested in helping with the food recovery call the food bank (806)-374-8562.