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When COVID-19 started to affect routine life in mid-March, the number of households that Gleaners Food Bank of Indiana had to feed each day tripled. With more calls coming in, Gleaners was struggling to handle the large influx of demand. The rise of calls into Gleaners was a result of growing food insecurity issues surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic — people were losing their incomes and shelter in place orders made it difficult for some in the community to get into the stores. The shelter in place orders also meant that more people were requesting at-home food delivery services, which was a new request for the food bank. The most vulnerable people in the county — the elderly — we advised to say at home because they’re an at-risk group for COVID-19.
Gleaners Food Bank of Indiana needed a way to help these shifting needs. By utilizing the Genesys Rapid Response offer and implementing the Genesys CloudTM solution, Gleaners has met the increased demand and rising number of calls.
“Genesys has been a loyal partner to Gleaners through volunteer engagement and fundraising. We quickly realized that we had an opportunity to expand our reach to the most vulnerable Marion County residents — those who were either ill, immunocompromised or in other high-risk categories,” said Alexandra McMahon, Director of Community and Corporate Engagement. “We reached out to Genesys, and they immediately offered to help, resulting in a quick and easy way for us to identify and serve those most in need. We truly could not have done this without them.”
The best way to service this group of citizens, many of whom don’t have smart phones or internet, was a traditional IVR application that converted phone call requests into email submission to Gleaners. The IVR application explained the qualification requirements for delivery (e.g., resident of Marion County, no access to transportation, stay-at-home order, etc.). The system then sent an email to Gleaners staff for the delivery request. This allowed them to focus on delivery of the food packages rather than staffing phone calls for inquiries and requests.
Genesys stood up the IVR solution on a weekend after Gleaners provided their requirements. Currently, Genesys is shouldering the costs for all phone calls, IRV usage and support. To date, Gleaners has received over 4,000 phone calls — the most-used communication channel for the nonprofit; SMS requests are a distant second.
COVID-19 concerns forced Nine13sports, an Indianapolis-based health and fitness-focused nonprofit, to shut down regular operations in early March. Schools started to close, and that prohibited the nonprofit from teaching children about cycling. Instead of waiting for the pandemic to pass, Nine13 looked to see how it could help the broader community.
The organization quickly realized it could be a logistic service for other organizations in the area. So Nine13 teamed up with Gleaners to deliver more than 20 pallets of food to different agencies in Indianapolis. Despite having a small staff of only 11 people, Nine13 is making a big difference for its community.
Nine13sports delivers 150,000 to 200,000 lbs. of food per week. Its bulk food team delivers the majority of that to approximately 30 agency sites weekly; the Family Meal Box team delivers about 30,000 lbs. of that total weight weekly directly to homes across the city. In total, the organization distributes food to more than 10,000 individuals in Indianapolis each week.
Currently, Gleaners supplies food to those in need; Genesys provides the technology to connect those in need with the organization; and Nine13 handles the logistics. And together, they’re helping more people in Indiana secure necessary food during this pandemic than would have been possible otherwise.
Learn more about how the Genesys Ready Response offer can enable give you business continuity during critical times.
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