There were plenty of big news events last year, but few had the emotional and physical impact of Superstorm Sandy. Today, long after the skies cleared, some residents of the Northeast are still working to rebuild their homes and lives, and they depend on dozens of nonprofits for support.
Food Bank for New York City is one of those nonprofits, and it has been diligently delivering meals to metro-area residents in need -- especially in the hard-hit area of The Rockaways.
The work hasn't been easy. Not only has Food Bank's development team had to solicit more food and financial contributions to keep those meals coming, but the nonprofit has also been stymied by a less-than-efficient system for organizing and distributing food to families.
And that's when Toyota stepped in.
Toyota team members Jamie and Lisa are experts in productivity. After surveying the operations at Food Bank, they noticed several problems. For starters, the boxes in which Food Bank packed its meals for families were too big, and that wasted space put a dent in the number of boxes that could fit on distribution trucks. Simply by changing the box size, Food Bank went from packing 864 boxes per truck to 1,260.
Jamie and Lisa also noticed that Food Bank's preparation process was highly inefficient, with workers taking an average of three minutes to load each box. By rearranging the packing room, they slashed that figure to just 11 seconds.
But that's not all Toyota has done. The automaker has also pledged to donate one meal to Food Bank for every view of the "Meals Per Hour" video embedded above. It's a short documentary about the process that Food Bank went through to improve efficiency and service to residents.
Initially, Toyota had promised to contribute up to 500,000 meals to Food Bank, but given the public's huge response to the project, Toyota has now upped that number to 1.25 million.
You can contribute to Toyota's efforts by clicking "play" on the video above. It's only about six minutes long, and it's very, very interesting.
If that piques your curiosity, you can learn more about the documentary -- and even donate directly to Food Bank -- at MealsPerHour.com.