The Purpose of Feeding America Audits for Ozarks Food Harvest
As members of Feeding America, every food bank in the country is required to undergo a comprehensive audit every two to four years. It was Ozarks Food Harvest’s turn this spring. The process is designed to ensure we are checking all the boxes in our contract with Feeding America, and it helps us learn about how we can improve. It also gives us a chance to share our company culture and passion.
In April, our auditor spent several days inspecting our building, talking with department directors and taking a comprehensive look at how we work in southwest Missouri. She examined everything from communication tactics to agency etiquette to building standards. Each department prepared by pulling reports, gathering paperwork, discussing best practices and organizing materials.
The Food Bank serves more than 261,000 unduplicated people each year. A key part of each audit is making sure that the food we feed children, seniors and families facing hunger is not just filling and healthy, but also safe to consume.
We depend on a combination of food industry requirements and specific guidelines from Feeding America, and our auditor confirmed that we are currently meeting and exceeding all of these requirements. She also checked our food safety monitoring process, which we use to make sure each of our partners is following proper food safety techniques.
We hold our partners to high standards, and ensuring that the food we distribute is safe to eat has always been and will continue to be a foundational component of our work. It’s a key part of our responsibility to support the wellbeing of the people we serve.
Along with analyzing our food safety procedures, the auditor toured and explored our warehouse. She was impressed with the cleanliness of the entire 100,000 square-foot space, and noted that she could tell sanitation is one of our top priorities. We’re extremely grateful for how this space has grown over
the years, and making sure it stays spotless is definitely important to us.
Overall, the auditor was extremely happy with Ozarks Food Harvest. She mentioned that within 20 minutes of her arrival, she felt a true sense of joy and energy from our employees and immediately noticed how committed we all are to fighting hunger. We’ve cultivated a culture of excellence here at Ozarks Food Harvest, and it is truly a wonderful place to work.
She also noticed that we all function as a family. Each day, we do our best to make every employee and volunteer feel like they’re part of our family as soon as they walk in our doors.
A successful audit is definitely something to be celebrated. We’re incredibly grateful to work with Feeding America and for audits that give us the opportunity to learn how we can provide even more meals in the Ozarks.