Spatial Insights, Inc. a Vienna, Virginia based Geographic Information Services Company has donated desktop mapping system and services to Food & Friends, a Washington, DC non-profit organization that provides three meals a day, at no cost, to people with HIV/AIDS.
Spatial Insights has donated consulting services, MapInfoTM software, and a color printer for Food & Friends staff to use in mapping and managing client meal deliveries. Business Location Research (BLR) based in Tucson, Arizona also donated their proprietary StreetNetwork 5.0TM product covering the Washington area. Food & Friends volunteers use maps prepared with MapInfoTM and StreetNetworkTM to complete their daily deliveries to clients.
Food & Friends’ Delivery Manager Tom Fox schedules 75 daily delivery routes that encompass 700 square miles in the Washington metro area. Tom was trained by Spatial Insights, and recently commented, “I use the software every day, to create color maps showing a zoomed view of a delivery route. If there are last minute changes, I can print a new map very quickly. The drivers like the maps because they include parks, churches, schools and other recognizable landmarks, particularly helpful for new volunteers, or drivers unfamiliar with their delivery area.”
Food & Friends also uses wall size color maps provided by Spatial Insights, to represent the total area serviced by Food & Friends. The desktop mapping technology enables visitors, including potential donors, to visualize the impact their contributions will have on the community. The new wall map replaced a makeshift montage of photocopies taped to the wall.
Food & Friends was founded in 1989 as a volunteer-based organization that provides freshly prepared meals, nutritional assessments and counseling, education and home-delivered groceries at no cost to those homebound due to HIV infection or AIDS. More than 700 active volunteers donate their time to 14 weekly kitchen shifts and 75 daily delivery routes covering a 700 square mile area. As of October 31st, Food & Friends has provided 853,571 meals to 3,026 individuals.