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Bright Spot: Hands and Feet Ministry
Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash
This bright spot was originally published in the 100 Million Healthier Lives Change Library and is brought to you through partnership with 100 Million Healthier Lives and the Institute for Healthcare Improvement.
- Approximately $5,000 per year, most from federal and local grants
- In-kind depends on the services provided beyond food
- A 0.5 FTE to administer the program, arrange for products/services and volunteers, grant writing and tracking, data collection
Key Steps for Implementation
- Begin by asking the organization you are part of (church, community group, association, etc.) if they are willing to take on a program serving the under-served, especially with food distribution
- If the will is there, research where the need exists (food desert research is readily available from most local/state public health departments)
- Research why there is a lack of resource in the particular community and have conversations with the community about their wants and needs (don't offer programs people don't want or use)
- Find partners who will be willing to supply goods and services for free or at a low cost and find funding sources for payment
- Build and train a volunteer base who can help with all of the logistics of the program or hire someone who will be the main point of contact and organization
- Make sure you have a way to track and measure what your are providing (including outcomes-which may take time to develop)
- Pick a distribution start point, location, and use appropriate communication channels to start advertising (Hands and Feet was able to use local school announcements to being spreading the word about the program)
- Hold the first event(s) and review outcomes for improvement for next events; include recipients and community members in the review of the program
- Food banks
- Convenience stores
- Mental Health Agencies
- Public Health
- Medicaid enrollment agencies
Policies, Laws and Regulations
This will vary from place to place. In Hands and Feet's case, the only need was to ensure compliance with local public health laws.
Required Staffing (FTEs)
At a minimum, 0.5 FTE will be needed, plus volunteers for at least 0.1 FTE per week (minimum of at least 8). The number of volunteers needed will depend on the scope and depth of the services provided.
Grant funding to buy bulk food was necessary to scale up the program (original funds came from the existing ECOPW budget, but is now off budget except for the staff salary). Hands and Feet has secured funding from both local philanthropy and Pueblo County agencies to fund the various programs in Hands and Feet.
See materials/equipment for details.
This will vary on what you provide, but having space for storage, a computer for tracking, and transportation for collection/delivery of goods and services will be a bare minimum for success.
Working with a large food bank and community organizing organization can help with the resourcing and activation training needed to successfully carry out this program.
Types of Staff
Food handling and distribution training will be needed, but no other specific credentials are necessary (partner organizations carry their own credentials).
Evaluation Strategies and Data Collection Tools
Right now, tracking is only done through internal spreadsheets which are loaded into Measure What Matters in 100 Million Healthier Lives.
- Food access
- Well-being (in process of being implemented)
- Numbers of individuals and families served
- Zip code locations of participants
- Pounds of food distributed
- Value of food distributed