How It Works
The Program is entirely reliant on volunteers to help pack, deliver and prepare and serve the food, for any school that wishes to run a program. Coordinators in each school are dedicated volunteers who ensure that the appropriate supplies are ordered, received and prepared each day. These volunteers can be teachers, EA’s or parents or other community volunteers. Students can even play an important role, to receive the food when it arrives at schools and with oversight, to help prepare or serve some of it.
The Food Sharing Project receives weekly orders from over 96 schools for more than 135 programs. Food orders are required to be submitted to the FSP before the end of the day every Monday, in order to meet an aggressive schedule;
FSP combines all school orders to purchase food and supplies from local suppliers, in bulk at considerable savings. This includes fresh produce, dairy, bakery, wholesale and general grocery suppliers. FSP places its orders on Tuesdays & Wednesdays, to ensure the food can be packaged and received by local suppliers before the end of the week. FSP receives their supply shipments each Thursday & Friday.
FSP relies on volunteers to package each individual school order. Each week, more than 250 boxes of custom orders are filled. The amount can meet or exceed six tons of food packed and shipped every Monday. Sometimes, due to the volume of food and the number of volunteers, a mistake can be made, but we try our best to ensure all orders are accurately filled.
FSP has its own van for delivery of some of the food. For the rest, we rely on our local school bus companies: Stock Transportation, First Student and Robert Hogan Bus Lines. The cost of transport is covered by the bus companies, while the drivers volunteer their time. The drivers pick up the food at our warehouse and deliver it to specific schools, according to their route. The bus drivers are on tight schedules and appreciate the help they get from students at most schools. In most cases, the food is delivered on Tuesday, although some orders are stored overnight in the FSP fridge, and are delivered by FSP staff on Wednesday morning.