Thanks to support from a United Way/Aetna Venture Fund Grant, in September 2020 the Y rolled out a new "digital pantry" system called "Your Market". This enables us to register Market (food pantry) shoppers and provide a key card to quickly check-in when you visit us weekly. Between September 1 and December 22, 2020, we have registered and served 5,913 households multiple times, and that number continues to grow weekly.
Many of the individuals who use our fresh food Markets need to use public transportation or depend on rides to get to us, but they do not know what is available until they reach the Market. While all of our locations try to keep as much food in stock as possible, there are days when we are particularly busy and certain foods are out of stock. Also, all Markets do not stock the same foods.
At this time, the Your Market system allows us to track weekly visits, collect basic household information on our Market participants, monitor the quantity of food distributed each day, communicate with shoppers via text message in their preferred language, and manage our inventory across multiple sites. In the future, Your Market will allow for real-time inventory to be seen by shoppers via their phone, home computer or public computer before they leave for one of our Markets. The ability for a family to pre-order online and pick up a pre-packed bag is also a goal of the system.
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