Second peer-to-Peer visit held at the food bank of Calvados, France on November 14th - 15th.
This time it was the presidents of the Algarve and Setúbal food banks in Portugal, as well as the Secretary General of the Greek food bank, who came to identify the best practices of the Calvados food bank in France, and assess their replicability in the network.
Among the various best practices presented during the peer-visit, the visiting participants were particularly impressed by the three following:
Inventory management and traceability system
The Calvados food bank, uses the IT-software, developed by the French Federation a few years ago, to document and track the flow of all in-coming and out-going food products using a simplified classification (type and family).
The system is coupled with an extensive training progrm of all volunteers in safe and hygienic handling of food supplies in a warehouse.
Daily food recovery from stores
At the Calvados food bank, two systems of recovery and distribution co-exist. A direct one, whereby volunteers from the food banks collect from stores to warehouse, and another one where the collection is delegated to the partner charities, within a process monitored by the food bank.
Teaching solidarity and cultivating the spirit of volunteering
The food bank has an innovative and useful approach to communicating to- and cultivating future food bankers. At the Calvados food bank, they manage to communicate the message of food banking to students of the local high- middle and pre-schools- reaching children down to the age of 4! The Calvados food bank has established strong relations to the local schools (due to several volunteers who are retired teachers) where they regularly visit and give small presentations on solidarity, food poverty and the importance to help our fellow citizens in need. This message of solidarity is thus transferred from tender age (to the future citizens of Calvados), thus creating the foundation for a culture of volunteering and giving.
A big thank you to the hosting team at the Calvados food bank, who overcame the language barriers to share their experiences with Portuguese and Greek colleagues during these memorable two days, and to the Kellogg Company who supports the peer-to-peer program.