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Kid’s Food Basket was formed in 2002 with the goal of helping eliminate childhood hunger. During that time, this non-profit organization has experienced significant growth, expanding from serving 125 children daily to more than 6,400 every weekday. Its budget has also increased tremendously, going from only $20,000 in the beginning to more than $4.2 million last year. Kid’s Food Basket is currently one of the largest programs in Michigan that is dealing with childhood hunger.
Recognizing the need to do even more, director Bridget Clark-Whitney decided to tap into the power of Lean Six Sigma training to help her organization become more effective. In 2009, she reached out to Jay Ertl, the Vice President of Global Supply Solutions for Amway Corporation for help. Ertl is also the Chief Financial Officer and board treasurer for Kid’s Food Basket.
According to Ertl, Lean Six Sigma training can be very beneficial to non-profit organizations such as Kid’s Food Basket. He remarked that using some of the methods and techniques acquired from Lean Six Sigma can help charities become more effective in how they operate, resulting in lowered administrative costs that will allow them to reach more people.
Lean Six Sigma training was indeed very beneficial to Kid’s Food Basket, helping them to better organize processes and to modify certain equipment to make it multi-functional. Director Clark-Whitney was very pleased with results, claiming that Kid’s Food Basket learned to do more with what they had, in addition to better managing “space, resources, and inventory.” She also remarked that the lessons learned during Lean Six Sigma training were “now a part of our culture.”
Kid’s Food Basket currently has around 175 volunteers daily, with more than 20,000 people volunteering in some capacity each year. The charity is focused on continuing to grow, which is something they find much easier to do thanks to the Lean Six Sigma training they received.
The fact that this non-profit uses Lean Six Sigma to maximize its efforts should be encouraging to other charitable organizations as well.