Smiling volunteers wearing shirts emblazoned with the slogan “Kraft Heinz Helps” sorted pop tarts and bagged frozen carrots at Feeding America West Michigan during the company’s annual volunteer day last July.
This slogan rings true at the food bank, where Kraft Heinz helps out in more ways than one. In addition to volunteering, the company hosts food drives – recently raising 62 meals worth of food. And on top of that, this month, Kraft Heinz donated six new pallet jacks to replace ones that have fallen into disrepair.
Warehouse equipment like pallet jacks are just as essential to the food bank’s operations as volunteers. Without pallet jacks, it would be far more challenging to accomplish simple tasks like moving food from one department to another, unloading trailers and delivering food to our partners.
Most of the pallet jacks Kraft Heinz donated are electric, a perk that helps increase warehouse productivity and efficiency, as well as safety, according to Director of Operations Zach Saucier.
“They allow the team to move product across the distance of the warehouse quickly with minimal physical toll on their bodies,” Zach said. “They reduce workplace injuries as they move heavy items and orders without risk to the employee.”
Sometimes, pallets stacked with food weigh upwards of 4,000 pounds. Electric pallet jacks make moving these heavy loads efficient and safe – especially for drivers delivering product to places that may have uneven parking lots. No one wants to chase after a manual pallet jack rolling away with hundreds of pounds of food!
Keeping our warehouse lights on and updating our equipment in a timely manner is crucial to our mission. Without a solid home base from which to fight hunger, our Mobile Pantry program and the hunger-relief programs we support would suffer.
Zach explained: “New equipment is safer, more efficient and costs less to operate, so we can put more into our mission.”
We are extremely grateful for Kraft Heinz and our numerous supporters and volunteers, who ensure that neighbors facing hunger in West Michigan and the Upper Peninsula have somewhere to turn to access the food they need.
Story written by Juliana Ludema, Communication Assistant