What organization gets food to 50,000 Ottowans a month? The Ottawa Food Bank. With its 140 member agencies, the Ottawa Food Bank is on the road all week delivering food. In fact, the Michael Street warehouse ships 12 to 14 tons of food every single weekday.
And that isn’t cheap. The majority of their operating costs come under food pick-up and delivery. With more than 100 food drop-off locations and nearly 100 pick-up locations to visit every week, their heaviest expense is fuelling and maintaining their fleet of trucks.
A while ago, we heard that the Ottawa Food Bank could use a little pickup of their own. Well, not so small a pickup actually—they needed another truck to join their fleet. The Stantec Ottawa office, using their Community Engagement fund, jumped in and donated $20,000 toward that purchase.
But, as you heard, most of their costs are tied up in operations. The new truck eased their troubles, but Marc Bouchard, an environmental engineer from Ottawa, saw an opportunity to do even more. He evaluated Ottawa’s unique road networks and came up with a vehicle routing analysis. He figured out the optimal size for the new truck (five tons), and he also found some opportunities to reduce vehicle operation and re-order the Ottawa Food Bank’s sequence of orders and pick-ups each week.
The result? The food bank could see as much as a 50 percent reduction in costs.
With these practical solutions, the Ottawa Food Bank is more efficient on the road and better at making sure people don’t go hungry. As Marc said, “to have the chance to do work that I love and to know that it will have a direct, positive impact on the community? That’s pretty special.”