Mobile Pantry Newsletter

Allowing Proxy Pick-Ups

It is not uncommon for a food recipient to ask if they can pick up food for another person who is unable to come and get food for themselves. This is called a proxy; an individual who is acting as a representative for another person. There are many reasons why a person may require the assistance of a proxy; disability, injury and being elderly are all common reasons. While Feeding America does not require you to allow proxy pick-ups, we do encourage it as a way to reach the most amount of people possible. 
There are different ways to allow proxy pick up. Some agencies ask the proxy to bring a signed note from the individual who is picking up food in their place. Other agencies, do not require a note but they limit the amount of proxies a person can pick up for to one in addition to their household. For example, if a recipient inquires about picking up food for another person, let them know it is okay to pick up for their family and one other family. By using this method, you can help control the amount of food you are giving out, so you have enough to serve everyone present, but are still making reasonable accommodations for those unable to attend.
Feeding America West Michigan strongly recommends, each agency create a written policy regarding proxies. The policy should include:
  • A description of the documentation the proxy must bring in order to pick up food for someone else, for example, name, address, household size, # children, # seniors,  signature of the person who will receive the food.
  • The attendee (proxy) must sign his/her name on the registration form. They may add the work “proxy” after the signature.
  • Specify the number of proxies one person can pick up for. The food bank recommends only 1 or at most 2.
  • The agency may wish to define exceptions to the policy, for example, a volunteer delivering food to a specific community (senior apartments, or area without access to public transportation). The agency may wish to keep a file copy of the proxy documentation for these recipient. The household data must be entered into the registration form.

Service Animals

Service animals are becoming a constant fixture in our communities and it is helpful to prepare your volunteers for this. If you conduct your distribution in a place where you cannot have animals, that is okay. However, you should make reasonable accommodations for the individual. For example, let them wait in their car and have someone bring food out to them. 
While you should be friendly and accommodating, you can still maintain order and rules. It is okay to tell the recipient with the service animal that they must keep the animal under control. For example, if the dog is sniffing the food, it is fine to ask them to wait off to the side. Use good judgment and compassion so that everyone can be served in the best way possible. 

In 2016...

With your help, we provided food to 1,620 mobile pantry distributions. That's over 11 million pounds of food to our neighbors in need! 

Training Available

You can now complete your mandatory mobile training through the internet? Feeding America West Michigan now offers training to our mobile pantry agencies via scheduled webinar. As agencies grow, there are often changes in personnel and volunteer helpers. This is a wonderful option to provide training to new people as they come in to your organization. To participate in this training, you need a device that connects to the internet (laptop, tablet or cell phone) and a solid internet connection. Further instructions are available upon request.
If you or someone in your organization would like to schedule a webinar training, please contact Shay Krick. 

Online Resources

Child Nutrition Activity
Butternut Squash Soup Recipe
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