As a cost savings measure, the Food Bank asks schools in our Food for Kids: Backpack Program to return the shipping boxes. To help promote the program, the boxes are printed with the backpack logo. Reuse helps to save money which can be directed to provide additional food.
This is where Pat Fox, who goes by Fox, makes her appearance. One by one, she looks at each box for damage that would prevent its reuse. She takes usable boxes, marks out any miscellaneous writing, and removes the sealing tape. Depending upon the return rate, Fox spends six hours, one or two times per week, to ensure the boxes are ready to go for their next use. At her current rate, Fox sorts through about 36,000 boxes a year.
Since the Food Bank can leverage a one dollar savings into the equivalent of four meals, each box Fox saves is four additional meals the Food Bank can provide. As a result of volunteers like Pat Fox, the Food Bank keeps its administrative overhead below 4% of overall costs. That means 96% of every donation goes into making sure those who are hungry have access to nutritious food.
For the last five years, Fox has been a quiet regular in the backpack section of our warehouse. Before that, she was a surgical instrument technician at Saint Francis Health system for 27 years. She currently lives with her seven-year old white miniature schnauzer, Nicki. Thank you, Fox!