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Sorting & Stocking

General:   Between the time that food is picked up and it is distributed, each item is checked to verify that it is not damaged and that it is not out of date. This process is also done with donated food received from other than GBFB or “Salvage” food received from GBFB. The GBFB provides “Food Keeper” guidance regarding food that is expired but still safe to consume. This guidance is kept in the food pantry’s sorting room. Items are dated when received so that the oldest stock is used first. An inventory of issued USDA products is accounted for on the sheets provided before the first distribution of the new month. This is accomplished by the Sort/Stock Coordinator.

Before Distributions 
Personnel required:  3-4 people, 6 hours each per month

  • Co-ordinator schedules volunteers to sort and stock when food items are received.
  • The Sort/Stock crew meets at 9:00 AM on Friday morning day of distribution and 9:00 AM on Friday morning day before a Saturday distribution.  
  • When new food is received it is sorted in cardboard trays, stored in the inventory/sorting room, marked with the date received and whether it is USDA Food.  The boxes are placed on inventory shelves designated by food category or placed directly on guest choice shelves in the case where there is no other like item already in inventory.
  • At any given time the sort personnel may need to lift and or move trays/cases between 10-24 pounds.
  • Guest choice shelves are restocked with inventory food stock using the oldest stock first.  This includes pasta and rice leftover from previous distributions stored in totes.
  • The sorting scheme shelf labels are utilized when possible when restocking the guest choice shelves, (i.e., soup, chicken; soup, vegetable, etc.).
  • Shelves labeled USDA must stock USDA products only in the categories so noted on the shelves.  There are instances where no USDA food is available to distribute, and non-USDA shelf space is needed, in these instances the USDA signs are removed and non-USDA items are temporarily placed on those shelves.
  • Outdated food that has been determined safe to eat per the GBFB “Food Keeper” guidelines must be placed on the “Unlimited” shelf only.  Guests may take unlimited items from this shelf without regard to family size and are told the items have passed expiration date but still safe to eat.  Use by, or expiration dates are dates the company maintains the flavor is best, but is still safe to eat beyond those dates (as determined by GBFB “Food Keeper” guidelines).
  • There are times when we receive items other than food, i.e., toiletries, paper goods, or special food such as baby food or nutritional food items, and over the counter medicine.  These items are also checked and placed on the “Personal Item” shelf.  Expired baby food is discarded.
  • Food delivered for use by the “Meal Ministry” group is dated and stored in the inventory/sort room on shelves designated for Meal Ministry only.
  • Bread products are counted and organized and the “items allowed” quantities adjusted as appropriate. Some bread may be delivered on the Friday morning of the Friday night distribution and on the Friday morning of the next day Saturday distribution.  There are two categories: buns and bread.  Upon arrival at the food pantry the stocking crew sorts buns and bread by type, then counts the total buns and total bread.  The two totals are put on a paper and left with the bread so at distribution time a determination can be made as to how much bread to give to each guest based on how much is received.
  • The food distribution hand carts are setup by inserting bags so they are ready when guests start arriving. Bags used are grocery type plastic and or plastic and paper.  Bags are either doubled if plastic only, or paper inside one plastic bag.
  • Floors are swept prior to each distribution.
Narrative: none

During Distributions 
Personnel required:  1 person, 4 hours per month
ResponsibilitiesDepending on food availability, replenishment of items from the back room inventory should be made during distributions.A

Narrative: none

After Distributions 
Personnel required:  2 people, ½  hour per month

  • Insure appropriate items are placed in totes, trash discarded, pantry clean, etc.
  • Appropriate food items are packed in totes (i.e. spaghetti, macaroni, rice, etc.)
  • Unused bread is frozen and unused dairy products are refrigerated.
  • Any trash should be discarded in the dumpster.  Break up cardboard boxes and discard in the trash bins marked “Cardboard”.  If trash bins are full leave cardboard in food pantry until they can be discarded.  When frozen poultry and/or meat are distributed the plastic and cardboard containers the poultry/meat came in must be broken down and discarded at end of distribution.
  • Frozen and refrigerated items are consolidated and any empty refrigeration units are shut off.
  • Sweep or wash floors and refrigerators as needed.
Narrative: none
GBFB - Food Expiration Matrix - Guidelines for using "Sell By" dates.