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.