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Online Route Planning for a Nonprofit to Reduce Hunger

April 08, 2020
Snack Pak 4Kids

Like many nonprofits, Snack Pak 4 Kids (SP4KSA) in San Antonio, Texas, is trying to make a difference in the lives of the local community. The organization provides weekend food security packages for children who are chronically hungry and lack adequate weekend nutrition.
During the school year, food insecure students in 16 participating local elementary and middle schools are provided weekly bags containing around 10 non-perishable, individually wrapped healthy food items.
But when school’s out for the 10 weeks of the summer, the need is still there. So, SP4KSA uses more than 40 volunteers to deliver 450 Snack Paks to 151 different addresses all over San Antonio. Now when kids are not allowed to go to school due to Covid-19 crisis, SP4KSA volunteers are delivering boxes to their homes.
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To make it happen, Jeff Campbell, SP4KSA delivery coordinator, needed to create routes for 21 different delivery teams, plus print out maps and directions for each one.
“I researched different online routing programs, and none of them came close to meeting our needs—numerous addresses, a specific number of teams, web-based planning, group access and the ability to manually refine routes,” he said.
“Plus, as a non-profit dealing with limited financial resources, we needed the most cost-effective system possible. met all those criteria.”
It’s not a simple undertaking. SP4KSA relies on volunteers from churches, civic organizations and/or PTAs to handle the responsibilities of funding, stocking, packing and delivering Snack Paks.
With, Jeff could import addresses from an existing Excel spreadsheet, plan the routes at his computer, and create individual instructions and maps for each of the 21 teams.
“A bonus was being able to easily email the directions to those who wanted to use their smart phones to assist with navigation,” he added.
With MyRouteOnline, SP4KSA completed 1,510 deliveries of 4,500 snack packs across a 10-week period with 21 separate teams during the summer. Far more than simply cost or time savings, MyRouteOnline made it possible for this important community service to happen—so the kids who need SP4KSA’s services are able to eat.
And they aren’t done yet now that school is back in session.
“We have grown to depend so much on MyRouteOnline that I continued our subscription when our delivery needs changed to monthly deliveries to 14 schools and two routes,” he said. MyRouteOnline was a lifesaver.”