Commissioner Adrian Garcia and team are being recognized for their food accessibility and distribution initiatives during the pandemic. The Texas Association of Counties has named Harris County Precinct 2 the recipient of the 2020 County Best Practices Award for 6 food security programs.
At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Commissioner Garcia felt confident that food insecurity would become an issue, especially in his precinct, which has the lowest median income in all of Harris County.
Together, Garcia’s numerous efforts formed a comprehensive approach to overcoming limits on food availability arising from the pandemic shutdown while reducing risks of exposure to COVID-19. Precinct 2 staff organized and delivered thousands of meals and tens of thousands of pounds of food throughout Precinct 2 which was open to everyone in the county. The team used various distribution methods, such as an improvised drive-thru distribution at a neighborhood park and by safely dropping off food boxes to elderly residents.
“We strategically and dramatically expanded our meals program, which in pre-pandemic times, were deployed on different schedules. My team took on the challenge of implementing them all at the same time,” said Commissioner Garcia. “ The logistical problem of a multiple-driver home delivery program with optimized routing was solved in partnership with Route4Me and Fleet Complete. Thanks to their support and experience, we were able to redesign our meals program and significantly improve the way we manage route planning and track information along the routes. We streamlined the meal delivery process and introduced a level of consistency and now have a tighter control of our deliveries. In addition, the Call Center was set up with live mapping insights, allowing our dispatch to stay in touch in real time with drivers and customers. With this new technology, we have revolutionized how our meals program is managed and tracked. Now we can better determine timing, get live updates from our drivers, which in turn allow us to better serve our homebound meal clients.”
“It’s a privilege to work with Harris County Precinct 2 to support their very necessary, admirable and challenging task of expanding their meals program during these particularly vulnerable times,” said Route4Me CEO, Dan Khasis. “Our platform and team of route optimization experts support organizations of any size to significantly increase work efficiency through smarter route planning, automated workforce guidance with dispatching, and enables real-time operational visibility. Ultimately, Route4Me customers are able to achieve a material improvement using our operational optimization platform to plan and dispatch routes, together with our mobile apps. We know that being able to accommodate rapidly changing dynamic routes results in an exceptional customer experience. Which is the best way to overcome distribution challenges associated with COVID-19.”
“We’re proud to be part of the support for Harris County Precinct 2 who have put such a great effort and care into ensuring that the community’s most vulnerable are provided with food during a pandemic,” said Tony Lourakis, CEO of Fleet Complete. “Essential fleets and services rely on remote visibility of their vehicles more than ever before in these uncertain times. We’re glad our fleet tracking software is able to provide the mission-critical insights they need to do their job safer, faster, and smoother.”
The six recognized programs:
• Brown Bag Lunches. Distributed 21,477 readymade lunches containing a sandwich, fruit and chips to children at parks and to residents of all ages at community centers.
• Homebound/Congregate Senior Meal Delivery. Expanded the daily delivery of 37,444 free nutritious hot meals to qualifying homebound residents over age 60.
• Hot Meals Fridays. Established a partnership with local restaurants to provide 10,142 hot, nutritious meals on Fridays to residents of all ages. The program not only fed those in need but also supported Precinct 2’s small-businesses restaurants.
• Houston Food Bank Distribution Partnership. Collaborated with the Houston Food Bank to set up and host 48 drive-thru Food Distributions that provided food and supplies to 25,300 families throughout the precinct.
• Second Servings Pop Up. Partnered with the nonprofit Second Servings of Houston to rescue and redistribute excess perishable food at pop-up drive-thru locations before it spoiled.
• Shelf Stable Meal Boxes. Collected non-perishable food items approved by a registered dietician to bring 28,435 shelf-stable meal boxes to participating senior residents.
“I’m so proud of my team for moving with deliberate speed and staying focused for those who need it the most. This has been a true herculean effort. It’s special when your peers across the state of Texas, 254 counties, recognize the work you have been able to do even in the most difficult of circumstances,” said Commissioner Garcia
Route4Me has over 27,000 customers in almost every country. Route4Me’s mobile Android and iPhone apps have been downloaded over 2 million times since 2009 – making it the world’s most used route optimization software. Route4Me synchronizes routes, enables two-way communication with drivers, turn-by-turn directions, visit confirmation, workforce guidance, fleet orchestration and more. Behind the scenes, Route4Me’s patented operational optimization platform combines high-performance algorithms with data science, machine learning and big data to plan, optimize, and analyze routes of almost any size in real-time. Learn more at route4me.com
About Fleet Complete®
Fleet Complete® is a leading global provider of connected vehicle technology, delivering mission-critical fleet, asset and mobile workforce management solutions. The company is servicing approximately 600,000 subscribers and over 40,000 businesses and government organizations in Canada, the U.S., Mexico, Australia, and across Europe. It maintains key distribution partnerships with AT&T in the U.S. and Mexico, TELUS and Rogers in Canada, Telstra in Australia, Telia in Denmark, Cosmote in Greece, and Deutsche Telekom (T-Mobile) in multiple European countries. Fleet Complete cultivates strong OEM partnerships with global market leaders, such as Cummins, Ford, General Motors, Mitsubishi Australia, and Toyota, among others. It remains one of the fastest-growing companies globally, having won numerous awards for innovation and growth. For more information, please visit fleetcomplete.com