About 25 managers and associates from the Sumner fulfillment center of Amazon brought their expertise and enthusiasm to the town’s Community Food Bank this week.
These masters of logistics on the mega-scale crowded into the small non-profit’s operations center near downtown to observe and offer ideas for streamlining the free food distribution process.
“At Amazon (in its newer, larger warehouse facilities), we change things out constantly to improve” the efficiency and flow, says Derek Rubino, site leader at the Sumner fulfillment center. So to provide knowledgeable suggestions for improving the food bank’s operation is something the Amazon team members were excited to do.
“We also want to support the communities around where we operate,” adds Rubino, a Bonney Lake resident. “In general, we love to be involved and connected.”
Sumner Rotary Club purchased the building 17 years ago and the food distribution program has definitely out-grown its space. Volunteer chairman of the food bank’s board, Don Weber, M.D., say the organization has purchased the adjacent property and is considering a major expansion, including parking for patrons.
To that end, Amazon brought a symbolic check for $10,000 to add into the expansion fund for Sumner Community Food Bank. Dr. Weber says there are four different construction concepts and a conversation with City planners will help select the optimal plan for expansion.
Sumner's operation currently feeds almost 1,000 local residents each month in over 274 families. Amazon donates millions of pounds of food each year in Washington state through Food Lifeline.