Food banks do not make cars but lean works there, too.

The argument that "we do not make cars" just does not hold water anymore. The lean methodology has been shown to work in almost every industry. Food banks? Of course. Food banks have processes to deliver products and services just like car manufacturers or hospitals. Most of the time these services are delivered in an inefficient way. But it doesn't have to be that way.

Some of the results in the Food Bank for New York City: "At a soup kitchen in Harlem, Toyota’s engineers cut down the wait time for dinner to 18 minutes from as long as 90 minutes. At a food pantry on Staten Island, they reduced the time people had spent filling their bags to 6 minutes from 11 minutes.  At a warehouse in Bushwick, Brooklyn, where volunteers were packing boxes of supplies for victims of Hurricane Sandy, a dose of kaizen cut the time it took to pack one box to 11 seconds from 3 minutes.

Toyota has “revolutionized the way we serve our community,” said Margarette Purvis, the chief executive and president of the Food Bank.

Better serving the underpriviledged should be a focus for all of us who have been given a great deal. Toyota leads the way again in showing us how to do just that.

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