In today’s social climate, “going green” is a global initiative carrying substantial weight. For the Food Bank of South Jersey, it’s an initiative that goes beyond the environment by extending the reach of the 250 agencies (read: soup kitchens, homeless shelters, religious organizations and more) who service our needy communities to provide more resources to those who need it.
Oasis Insight, a web-based tool that allows agencies to digitally sign-up, catalog signatures, and track each person they service, pushes paper forms to the past thus creating room for faster client check-in, extended knowledge of client information and a deeper resource for understanding how to get more food to more folks.
So who’s leading the charge in the migration to this innovative new system? Meet Ryan Sherberg, a person whose passion for hunger relief was built on a lifetime of service working with his community church. Born and raised in Freehold, NJ, Ryan recently graduated from Michigan State University with a degree in accounting and has found that this new system is able to track some very important information.
“Through Oasis, we can ask a host of questions that weren’t available on the paper forms such as veteran status, education, at risk of homelessness, so that we can use that to generate demographic reports,” says Ryan. These demographic reports ensure that FBSJ is able to help beneficiaries understand all of the resources that might be available to them, and give them the tools they need to lead better and healthier lives. The ultimate goal is to migrate 80 agencies to the new system in 2017, but that requires a lot of leg-work, follow-up and patience. Not to mention, he’s only got a year to do it.
Working with FBSJ as an Americorps VISTA (an organization that provides volunteers a year-long opportunity to service a non-profit or public agency), Ryan wants to make sure his impact has a lasting effect. “Working with people who have limited computer resources can be challenging,” says Ryan as he explains his training processes. “But the agencies are always so grateful and that’s the greatest reward for what I get to do.”
To find out more about how we work to feed South Jersey or how you can help us in our mission, please visit our link here!