Loaves & Fishes Food Bank to begin computerized client intake

Tuesday, December 22, 2020
Susan Brashears (left) of Brashears Furniture poses with Loaves & Fishes Food Bank board secretary Lieu Smith and grant writer Dale Hunter behind a desk that Brashears donated to the food bank. The desk will help in the food bank’s transition to a computerized system for client intake.
Submitted photo

The Loaves & Fishes Food Bank in Berryville will soon begin its conversion from a manual, card-based system of client intake to a computerized system that accesses a web-based database provided and maintained by the Northwest Arkansas Food Bank.

Last week, Loaves & Fishes accepted the donation of a computer desk from Brashears Furniture to help facilitate that change.

“Using this new system will streamline our intake and service delivery by giving us easy access to secure client records and a cleaner and more structured method of measuring our service delivery,” said Lieu Smith, Loaves & Fishes board secretary. “We have many issues now with cards being misfiled or destroyed when clients have not been in for a year or more, and that creates a lot of paperwork while we collect information and initiate new paperwork for an existing client. This new system will make sure that information remains accessible to us at all times, and also secures the information through unique logins and passwords for authorized users. This will give us more and better information, while at the same time protecting the privacy of our clients.”

Dale Hunter, grant writer for the food bank, said the information in this new system will help the food bank be more successful with grant applications.

“Not only do grantors want information about our mission, such as how much food we give away every year, but they also often want a demographic profile of the population being served,” Hunter said. “This system will give us ready access to that kind of information, whether it be pounds delivered, how many households served, or by age, gender, ethnicity, or any other demographic we measure, while at the same time respecting the privacy of the clients we serve. This will be enormously helpful as we apply for and report on grants.”

The new desk being donated by Brashears is designed with computer usage in mind, and will be a benefit to the volunteers who are working the intake desk.

“Loaves & Fishes is grateful for this wonderful and practical support from this member of our business community,” the food bank said in a news release.

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