Turning Money Into Meals

Another project I have been working on is creating a sort of “return on investment” spreadsheet for Northwest Harvest events that have been held in the past year. The two main statistics that I was focused were the amount of dollars of money and pounds of food that were raised, since these are the quantifiable take aways from the event (Although there are always intangible benefits including media exposure, meeting potential new donors, and giving away Northwest Harvest items). While it was great to see how generous people were with donating food and money pounds and dollars don’t actually tell me much about how the events have helped to feed hungry people. What was really interesting was using a formula to use these totals that I had recorded to figure out how many meals worth of food were collected at each event.

Since Northwest Harvest provides food to so many different organizations, they need to buy a ton of food. Since they purchase in bulk, they have a great deal of purchasing power and can get great prices on nutritious food. This means that, on average, a meal worth of food can be purchased for only 22 cents! I found this hard to beleive at first, but I was shown a breakdown and a family of three can actually be feed a meal for only 67 cents. This means that all of the money that is collected at the various events goes a very long way. In total, the money and the food that was donated at the events in the past fiscal year was enough to create well over 5 million meals!

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