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Technology helps food banks handle holiday surge

By Erica E. Phillips, reporter, Wall Street Journal Logistics Report |

Each year, food donations coming in to Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee surge from November through December to nearly double what the charity receives in the rest of the year.

It is a deluge of everything from canned soups, boxed cereal to crated vegetables and fruits, presenting an operation that depends largely on volunteers with a logistics challenge. To handle the rush, Second Harvest is relying on the sort of technology that retailers and other private companies use to manage the spike in activity that comes with the holidays.

The charity, part of the national network of 200 food banks that operate under Feeding America, uses logistics software made by Exact Macola to help manage the more than 30 million pounds of food it delivers from its warehouses each year. Exact Macola, a Dublin, Ohio-based company, sells business software to small and medium-size companies.

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