Hello, I run a food bank in Bellingham, WA. We are seeking and app that allows food pantry shoppers to book an appointment.  Plentiful, out of NYC, has such an app but it isn't being shared outside of NYC yet.  Is anyone aware of a similar product that would allow food bank "reservations".  An appointment system will greatly reduce long lines, reduce the time it takes a shopper to visit the food bank, and make the experience more dignified by eliminating the need to wait outside in a long line seeking food.

Thanks!

Mike Cohen

mike@bellingahmfoodbank.org 

Hi Mike,

The apps that come to mind are meant for professionals like consultants, chiropractors, etc. for appointment scheduling. They're all pretty inexpensive, and most integrate with Google calendar and/or Outlook. 

Acuity

Bookeo

Calendar.com

Calendly

Doodle

ScueduleOnce

TimeTrade 

I hope that helps.

I'm not sure many (any?) of these would work. I can barely get a dozen volunteers I'm working with to use, say, Calendly to tell me their availability. I've never used any of these by my phone - do they all work by phone. Could these really work with a Food Bank that works with hundreds of people, and needs those people to be able to easily look at a calendar with their smart phones, see an open time and sign up for it? I'm really skeptical... 

But thanks for replying. I'd love for someone to show how one of these would be a great candidate for this. 

NYC food pantries have shown that if it's the right tech, families will use it.  https://www.plentifulapp.com/ has logged millions of food pantry appointments but they don't have a plan yet to roll it out nationally. I'm looking for something as robust and proven as Plentiful...it's got to be out there....

Mike

What about recruiting an online volunteer via your own web site and VolunteerMatch (in case you don't have time to do this) to contact food banks and food pantries directly that serve large areas and ask them if they have such a tool they would be willing to share with you? Oregon Food Banks is the state network of all foodbanks here in Oregon - they might be able to help. 

We use AcuityScheduling.com  for our food pantry and are very pleased with it.  It is a paid service, but we find it well worth it.

Hope this helps.

Jenny

Help & Hope Center

jenny@helpandhopecenter.org