For nearly a year now I have been visiting A Turning Point (ATP) in Northmoor and picking up donations to feed our houseless friends. It began with me picking up excesses donations from Hillcrest and transitioned into me going straight to the source. I used my personal minivan to begin with filling it up with roughly 30 boxes taking them home and sorting them so that FHS Northland can use some. With the addition of Little Helper I can not transport nearly 3 pallets of goods.
CVS stores around the country will regularly audit their stock and anything that is seasonal, near expired or not moving will be pulled from the shelves, boxed and delivered to one of the consolidation warehouses around the country. For 8 Midwest states that happens to be near the KCI airport. Once these have been cataloged to be written off they are available for non-profits to pickup. As it is heavily reliant on the influx from the stores the volume we get can be anywhere from 2 to 20 pallets which is shared by ATP, my group, a handful of churches, a veteran group, and a few other small non-profits. ATP takes all non-food items which can be medicine, vitamins, toys and more as well as 2 or 3 food pallets leaving the rest for us.
The remaining pallets are unloaded in the parking lot and we assist each other loading up vans, trucks and cars till it is distributed based on need (and speed). I've come to be on a first name basis with most of the regulars and we are careful to make sure nobody is left out. Occasionally the warehouse has so much that they have to make a second trip. When this happens most folks will go unload and come back for more. For me however since I have to drive it to KCK and then head to work I rarely return for a second load.
Rachelle's house has the infamous FHS "cave" (which is really just a detached bedroom or "man cave") where we unload in the warmer months so that temperature sensitive items don't melt. In the cooler months we unload into her garage but wherever it is Shelbi and Dawn are there to sort. Each box is a roll of the dice with items spanning any food of the items you can expect to find for sale in a CVS. Sometimes it's high end chocolate or popcorn, maybe it's granola bars or beef jerky. It might be 40 lbs of skittles or a massive amount of holiday candy. Each is sorted into box based on it's type (snacks, candy, grocery, cookies, crackers, etc.) Team leads from around the city will then come pickup their allotted amount based on the number of people they feed and the next Tuesday we repeat the whole processes.