We interview Daniel S. Reyes, the Deputy Executive Director from NY Common Pantry about their choice pantry program.
Common Pantry transitioned to its digital system five years ago, in an attempt to offer greater choice to its more than 300,000 annual visitors. Before the move, volunteers simply created the same package of items for everyone based on family size. Now 10 percent of the organization’s customers order online, while the others use on-site tablets. With an assist from volunteers, they scroll through options in each of five MyPlate food groups. The menu, translatable into Chinese and Spanish in addition to English, includes pictures of each item to combat any literacy challenges. Once a list is submitted, a ticket is printed in the packing room, where volunteers immediately fulfill the order. Time from log on to ready-for-pick- up is about 15-20 minutes.