The more we know about our food-insecure neighbors, the better we can meet their needs and measure our impact.
What is Service Insights?
Service Insights is our food bank-wide initiative to collect basic information about our community members accessing food services across our distribution network. Our goal is to learn more about the community members we serve so that we can work to better meet their needs. We collect this information by equipping our partner agencies with a client intake system to use at food distributions.
This client intake system is a website. The website is built to perform client intake and record each service provided to clients. Our database is secure, and the data collected is only used to help us understand how well we are helping our community.
Over time, this information will inform CAFB’s strategies to fight food insecurity across our region – and we can’t do it without our Shopping Partners!
Service Insights data is so important to us that it’s already in your Shopping Partner Agreement (#s 23 and 24, under Data and Reporting). CAFB staff will assist all Shopping Partners to implement Service Insights in the next few years.
How will you benefit from participating?
- Reduce or eliminate paper intake forms
- TEFAP compliance is built into the system. You can complete SDI forms on your computer!
- No cost to use the software and CAFB can provide a laptop at no cost
- As you learn more about your clients, you can order more appropriate food
- Easy reports for grants, audits, or CAFB info requests
- Clients sign up once, rather than at every Partner site they visit
- CAFB staff will provide training and support!
What will you do?
You will use a computer system to perform client intake and record your food services. Client intake involves collecting basic information to build their household’s profile (first and last name, age, address, household members, etc.) in addition to helpful data such as dietary considerations and assistance programs.
Each client only needs to complete this process once. After the initial intake questionnaire, the system creates a household profile that makes documenting subsequent visits quick and easy.
Recording your food distribution can be a very quick process – just a click or two for each person receiving food!
If a patron does not wish to register in our system, our Partners will still provide assistance. All personal data is protected, using the same type of encryption as in banking software. No personal information will ever be shared outside of our Partner network. We will never share our patrons’ information with agencies such as law enforcement or immigration services.
Ready to start Service Insights?
If you’re a current CAFB Shopping Partner, register for a training session!
Please note that we are only training non-TEFAP Partners and TEFAP Partners in Virginia at this time. Only the state of Virginia has approved our digital system for TEFAP. TEFAP Partners in Maryland and DC will be notified when we have received approval from those state governments.
If you’re a new CAFB Shopping Partner, you will receive info about the next Service Insights training during your onboarding process.
Do you have questions before signing up for training? Contact our team at ServiceInsights@capitalareafoodbank.org.
Are you using Link2Feed?
Thank you for being our partner in this initiative! Because of your hard work, we are learning about each community in our region.
Feeding America, the nationwide network of food banks, has launched a new service insights platform called Service Insights. Service Insights is an upgraded and user-friendly system. It performs all the same critical functions that Link2Feed does, with more exciting features in development. Service Insights is also available to food banks at no cost, which will allow CAFB to use our resources differently. All partners who are new to Service Insights will use Service Insights.
We will help Partners make the switch to the new system as soon as some key features are released. In the meantime, we are here to support your continued use of Link2Feed.