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Team Kaizen

Toyota Helps Food Bank Fight Hunger Outside the Box

Key to our ability to serve our mission is being able to depend on New Yorkers joining us and serving in creative ways. While every friend of Food Bank picks his or her own path, each shares an understanding that any gift based in great intention and commitment to mission is the best gift you can share and receive. We are so grateful for Toyota’s nontraditional donation of "kaizen" to our network. By teaming up with Toyota and leveraging their production philosophy to increase our member agencies’ efficiency, we are empowering our network of charities to help more people, with limited resources, in less time.

Recently, Team Kaizen brought Toyota's efficiency expertise to a Sandy-affected community in Coney Island, where the waiting time for food was cut in half in just two days.  Watch the feature on NBC nightly news:

Using Kaizen, Food Bank was able to increase efficiency around our network and in our response to Hurricane Sandy.  As The New York Times reported, "At a soup kitchen in Harlem, Toyota’s engineers cut down the wait time for dinner to 18 minutes from as long as 90. At a food pantry on Staten Island, they reduced the time people spent filling their bags to 6 minutes from 11. And at a warehouse in Bushwick, Brooklyn, where volunteers were packing boxes of supplies for victims of Hurricane Sandy, a dose of kaizen cut the time it took to pack one box to 11 seconds from 3 minutes."

NYT kaizenThe Kaizen approach is one of continual, incremental improvement.  As Toyota implemented Kaizen, "gradually our work stations were becoming less dangerous, more pleasant and more efficient. The whole production process now makes much more sense than before and it just feels like a more friendly place. How nice it is to know that next week things will make even more sense and our workers will work not harder but smarter and perhaps safer." 

Our good fortune of having an out-of-the-box thinker like Toyota on team Food bank — a partner whose donation of expertise has opened the door to maximum productivity within our network — helps us show the world that you don't always have to follow a straight path when you’re tackling a problem as big as hunger. Sometimes you have to make a LEFT in order to get to the RIGHT opportunities.

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