New York, New York, June 21, 2013 – Today, Toyota announced it would donate up to half a million meals to Food Bank For New York City based on viewings of a short, online documentary about Meals Per Hour, a partnership to help residents in the Far Rockaways who were severely impacted by Superstorm Sandy. Toyota already has donated 250,000 meals to the organization and for every view the documentary receives until July 19, it will donate another meal, up to an additional 250,000, to total 500,000 meals. The documentary is available at www.mealsperhour.com.
The documentary was created by Supermarché, the production company helmed by award-winning filmmakers Rel Schulman and Henry Joost, creators of the feature films Catfish and Paranormal Activity.
The documentary chronicles how a team from Toyota collaborated with staff at Metro World Child, a Food Bank For New York City member agency that receives food and technical assistance. Metro World Child distributes emergency food boxes to community members in the Far Rockaways, many of whom are still struggling to get back on their feet more than six months after Superstorm Sandy. Their shared goal was simple, but critical – enhance Metro World Child’s operations to help it deliver more food, more quickly, to more New Yorkers in need.
Over an eight-week period, Toyota and Metro World Child observed and experimented with every aspect of the meal delivery system, from the size of boxes used to hold the food to how the warehouse was laid out, to the process for packing the delivery truck and distributing the meals. As a result of changes put in place, Metro World Child is now able to deliver 18 times more meals to New Yorkers in need, from 25 meals an hour to 450 meals an hour. Other improvements included:
- Assembling food boxes 12 times faster, from 2.2 minutes a box to 11 seconds.
- Increasing the amount of meals transported in the delivery truck by almost 50 percent, from 864 boxes to 1260.
- Decreasing the number of volunteers needed to distribute the food nearly in half, from seven to four.
- Reducing the wait time for community members in half from more than 2.5 hours to 1.25 hours.
“Toyota’s leadership in sharing innovative business practices and expertise beyond their industry exemplifies how creative partnerships can solve critical issues like food poverty,” said Margarette Purvis, President and CEO of Food Bank For New York City. “Not only were we able to work together to dramatically increase the number of meals we can get into the hands of New Yorkers, the lessons learned from Meals Per Hour will play a key role in mobilizing our network more quickly and with fewer resources in times of disaster and extreme need.”
“The results of Meals Per Hour exceeded our expectations – and we’re thrilled that now people are going to mealsperhour.com to watch the film and help even more New Yorkers,” said Lisa Richardson, Toyota process improvement leader. “We’re also excited that Food Bank For New York City is sharing key learnings from the partnership with 800 other agencies in their network across the city.”
The initiative is the latest project of the Toyota Production System Support Center, Inc. (TSSC), which shares Toyota manufacturing know-how with nonprofits to help improve lives. TSSC uses concepts from Toyota's production system to enable organizations to optimize the way they work.