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Indianapolis IN | IRS ruling year: 1980 | EIN: 35-1483868
Gleaners was founded in 1980 and is a member of Feeding America the nation's food bank network. Since its inception, Gleaners has distributed more than 750 million pounds of food and critical grocery products through nearly 250 hunger relief agencies, schools and community partners. In addition to food distribution to agencies, Gleaners serves Indiana's most vulnerable populations, seniors and children, through specialty programs such as School Pantries, Mobile Pantries, Summer Meals for Kids, and Senior Hunger Initiatives Programs.
In addition, Gleaners operates Fresh Connect Central, a regional produce and perishable food processing center for Feeding America, sourcing and distributing fresh fruits and vegetables, meat, and dairy to member food banks in 9 states. We are also a contract reclamation site for Kroger Central Division, and a disaster relief staging site for both Feeding America and FEMA.
This charity's score is 99%, earning it a Four-Star rating. If this organization aligns with your passions and values, you can give with confidence.
This overall score is calculated from multiple beacon scores: 35% Accountability & Finance, 50% Impact & Results, 10% Leadership & Adaptability, 5% Culture & Community. Learn more about our criteria and methodology.
We recognize that not all metrics and beacons equally predict a charity’s success. The percentage each beacon contributes to the organization’s overall rating depends on the number of beacons an organization has earned.
Use the tool below to select different beacons to see how the weighting shifts when only one, two, or three beacons are earned.
|Date Published||Form 990 FYE||Overall Score||Overall Rating|
|Rating Version: 2.1|
|Rating Version: 2.0|
|Rating Version: 1.0|
The IRS is significantly delayed in processing nonprofits' annual tax filings (Forms 990). As a result, the Accountability & Finance score for Gleaners Food Bank of Indiana is outdated and the overall rating may not be representative of its current operations. Please check with the charity directly for any questions you may have.
Gleaners Food Bank of Indiana has earned a 98% for the Accountability & Finance beacon. See the metrics below for more information.
This beacon provides an assessment of a charity's financial health (financial efficiency, sustainability, and trustworthiness) and its commitment to governance practices and policies.
This Accountability & Finance score represents IRS Form 990 data up until FY 2019. More recent filing data is available, but it has not been factored into this score, due to COVID-19's effect on this organization.
Rating update postponed due to COVID-19's impact on this organization. View Gleaners Food Bank of Indiana's response.Learn more
Charity Navigator looks to confirm on the Form 990 that the organization has these governance practices in place.
Sources Include: IRS Form 990
|Independent Voting Board Members ... (More)|
The presence of an independent governing body is strongly recommended by many industry professionals to allow for full deliberation and diversity of thinking on governance and other organizational matters. Our analysts check the Form 990 to determine if the independent Board members are a voting majority and also at least five in number. (Less)
|No Material Diversion of Assets ... (More)|
A diversion of assets – any unauthorized conversion or use of the organization's assets other than for the organization's authorized purposes, including but not limited to embezzlement or theft – can seriously call into question a charity's financial integrity. We check the charity's last two Forms 990 to see if the charity has reported any diversion of assets. If the charity does report a diversion, then we check to see if it complied with the Form 990 instructions by describing what happened and its corrective action. This metric will be assigned to one of the following categories:
|Audited Financials Prepared by Independent Accountant ... (More)|
Audited financial statements provide important information about financial accountability and accuracy. They should be prepared by an independent accountant with oversight from an audit committee. (It is not necessary that the audit committee be a separate committee. Often at smaller charities, it falls within the responsibilities of the finance committee or the executive committee.) The committee provides an important oversight layer between the management of the organization, which is responsible for the financial information reported, and the independent accountant, who reviews the financials and issues an opinion based on its findings. We check the charity's Form 990 reporting to see if it meets this criteria.
|Does Not Provide Loan(s) to or Receive Loan(s) From Related Parties ... (More)|
Making loans to related parties such as key officers, staff, or Board members, is not standard practice in the sector as it may divert the charity's funds away from its charitable mission and can lead to real and perceived conflict-of-interest problems. This practice is discouraged by sector trade groups which point to the Sarbanes-Oxley Act when they call for charities to refrain from making loans to directors and executives. And the IRS is concerned enough with the practice that it requires charities to disclose on their Form 990 any loans to or from current and former officers, directors, trustees, key employees, and other "disqualified persons." Furthermore, some state laws go so far as to prohibit loans to board members and officers. And although employees and trustees are permitted to make loans to charities, this practice can also result in real and/or perceived conflict of interest problems for the charity. Furthermore, it is problematic because it is an indicator that the organization is not financially secure. (Less)
|Documents Board Meeting Minutes ... (More)|
An official record of the events that take place during a board meeting ensures that a contemporaneous document exists for future reference. Charities are not required to make their Board meeting minutes available to the public. As such, we are not able to review and critique their minutes. For this performance metric, we are checking to see if the charity reports on its Form 990 that it does keep those minutes. In the future, we will also track and rate whether or not a charity keeps minutes for its committee meetings. (Less)
|Distributes 990 to Board Before Filing ... (More)|
Providing copies of the Form to the governing body in advance of filing is considered a best practice, as it allows for thorough review by the individuals charged with overseeing the organization. The Form 990 asks the charity to disclose whether or not it has followed this best practice. If the charity has not distributed its Form 990 to the board before filing, then we deduct 4 points from its Accountability and Transparency score. (Less)
|Does not Compensate Board Members ... (More)|
The IRS requires that any compensation paid to members of the charity's governing body be listed on the Form 990. Furthermore, all members of the governing body need to be listed whether or not they are compensated. It is not unusual for some members of the board to have compensation listed. The executive director of the organization frequently has a seat on the board, for instance, and is compensated for being a full time staff member. However, it is rare for a charity to compensate individuals only for serving on its Board of Directors. Although this sort of board compensation is not illegal, it is not considered a best practice. (Less)
Charity Navigator looks to confirm on the Form 990, or for some metrics on the charity's website, that the organization has these policies in place.
Sources Include: IRS Form 990 and organization's website
|Conflict of Interest ... (More)|
Such a policy protects the organization, and by extension those it serves, when it is considering entering into a transaction that may benefit the private interest of an officer or director of the organization. Charities are not required to share their conflict of interest policies with the public. Although we can not evaluate the substance of its policy, we can tell you if the charity has one in place based on the information it reports on its Form 990. If the charity does not have a Conflict of Interest policy, then we deduct 4 points from its Accountability and Transparency score. (Less)
|Whistleblower ... (More)|
This policy outlines procedures for handling employee complaints, as well as a confidential way for employees to report any financial mismanagement. Here we are reporting on the existence of a policy as reported by the charity on its Form 990. (Less)
|Records Retention and Destruction ... (More)|
Such a policy establishes guidelines for handling, backing up, archiving and destruction of documents. These guidelines foster good record keeping procedures that promotes data integrity. Here we are reporting on the existence of a policy as reported by the charity on its Form 990. If the charity does not have a Records Retention and Destruction Policy, then we deduct 4 points from its Accountability and Transparency score. (Less)
|CEO Compensation Process ... (More)|
This process indicates that the organization has a documented policy that it follows year after year. The policy should indicate that an objective and independent review process of the CEO's compensation has been conducted which includes benchmarking against comparable organizations. We check to be sure that the charity has reported on its Form 990 its process for determining its CEO pay. (Less)
|Donor Privacy ... (More)|
Charity Navigator looks to confirm on the Form 990, or for some metrics on the charity's website, that the organization makes this information easily accessible.
Sources Include: IRS Form 990 and organization's website
|CEO Salary Listed on 990 ... (More)|
Charities are required to list their CEO's name and compensation on the Form 990. Our analysts check to be sure that the charities complied with the Form 990 instructions and included this information in their filing. (Less)
|Board of Directors Listed on Website ... (More)|
Our analysts check to see if the charity lists Board members on its website. Publishing this information enables donors and other stakeholders to ascertain the make up of the charity's governing body. This enables stakeholders to report concerns to the Board. Charity Navigator does not cross-check the Board members listed on the website with that reported on the Form 990, because the latter often isn't available until more than a year after the charity's fiscal year ends. In that time, the charity's Board members may have changed, and the charity typically reflects those more recent changes on the website. (Less)
|Key Staff Listed on Website ... (More)|
It is important for donors and other stakeholders to know who runs the organization day-to-day. Charity Navigator does not cross-check the leadership listed on the website with that reported on the Form 990 because the latter often isn't available until more than a year after the charity's fiscal year ends. In that time, the charity's leadership may have changed and the charity typically reflects those more recent changes on the website. In other words, since the Form 990 isn't especially timely, it can not be used to verify the leadership information published on the charity's site. (Less)
|Audited Financial Statements Listed on Website ... (More)|
We check the charity's website to see if it has published its audited financial statements for the fiscal year represented by the most recently filed IRS Form 990. It is important for donors to have easy access to this financial report to help determine if the organization is managing its financial resources well. We currently rate charities on whether or not they publish their audit on their website. (Less)
|Form 990 Available on Website ... (More)|
We check the charity's website to see if it has published its most recently filed IRS Form 990 (a direct link to the charity's 990 on an external site is sufficient). It is important for donors to have easy access to this financial report to help determine if the organization is managing its financial resources well. (Less)
The Liabilities to Assets Ratio is determined by Total Liabilities divided by Total Assets (most recent 990).
Part of our goal in rating the financial performance of charities is to help donors assess the financial capacity and sustainability of a charity. As do organizations in other sectors, charities must be mindful of their management of total liabilites in relation to their total assets. This ratio is an indicator of an organization’s solvency and or long term sustainability. Dividing a charity's total liabilities by its total assets yields this percentage.
Source: IRS Form 990
Determines how long a charity could sustain its level of spending using its net available assets, or working capital, as reported on its most recently filed Form 990. We include in a charity's working capital unrestricted and temporarily restricted net assets, and exclude permanently restricted net assets. Dividing these net available assets in the most recent year by a charity's average total expenses, yields the working capital ratio. We calculate the charity's average total expenses over its three most recent fiscal years.
Source: IRS Form 990
The amount spent to raise $1 in charitable contributions. To calculate a charity's fundraising efficiency, we divide its average fundraising expenses by the average total contributions it receives. We calculate the charity's average expenses and average contributions over its three most recent fiscal years.
Source: IRS Form 990
As reported by charities on their IRS Form 990, this measure reflects what percent of its total budget a charity spends on overhead, administrative staff and associated costs, and organizational meetings. Dividing a charity's average administrative expenses by its average total functional expenses yields this percentage. We calculate the charity's average expenses over its three most recent fiscal years.
Source: IRS Form 990
This measure reflects what a charity spends to raise money. Fundraising expenses can include campaign printing, publicity, mailing, and staffing and costs incurred in soliciting donations, memberships, and grants. Dividing a charity's average fundraising expenses by its average total functional expenses yields this percentage. We calculate the charity's average expenses over its three most recent fiscal years.
Source: IRS Form 990
The Program Expense Ratio is determined by Program Expenses divided by Total Expense (average of most recent three 990s).
This measure reflects the percent of its total expenses a charity spends on the programs and services it exists to deliver. Dividing a charity's average program expenses by its average total functional expenses yields this percentage. We calculate the charity's average expenses over its three most recent fiscal years.
Source: IRS Form 990
Organizations that demonstrate consistent annual growth in program expenses are able to outpace inflation and thus sustain their programs year to year. These organizations also supply givers with greater confidence by maintaining broad public support for their programs. We compute the average annual growth of program expenses using the following formula: [(Yn/Y0)(1/n)]-1, where Y0 is a charity's program expenses in the first year of the interval analyzed, Yn is the charity's program expenses in the most recent year, and n is the interval of years passed between Y0 and Yn.
Source: IRS Form 990
This chart displays the trend of revenue and expenses over the past several years for this organization, as reported on their IRS Form 990.
Presented here are this organizations key compensated staff members as identified by our analysts. This compensation data includes salary, cash bonuses and expense accounts and is displayed exactly how it is reported to the IRS. The amounts do not include nontaxable benefits, deferred compensation, or other amounts not reported on Form W-2. In some cases, these amounts may include compensation from related organizations. Read the IRS policies for compensation reporting
John Elliott, President, CEO
$171,925 (0.21% of Total Expenses)
Current CEO and Board Chair can be found in the Leadership & Adaptability report below.
Source: IRS Form 990 (page 7), filing year 2020
Below are some key data points from the Exempt Organization IRS Business Master File (BMF) for this organization. Learn more about the BMF on the IRS website
Other inner city or community benefit activities (BMF activity code: 429)
Organization which receives a substantial part of its support from a governmental unit or the general public 170(b)(1)(A)(vi) (BMF foundation code: 15)
Independent - the organization is an independent organization or an independent auxiliary (i.e., not affiliated with a National, Regional, or Geographic grouping of organizations). (BMF affiliation code: 3)
The Form 990 is a document that nonprofit organizations file with the IRS annually. We leverage finance and accountability data from it to form Encompass ratings. Click here to search for this organization's Forms 990 on the IRS website (if any are available). Simply enter the organization's name (Gleaners Food Bank of Indiana) or EIN (351483868) in the 'Search Term' field.
This organization was impacted by COVID-19 in a way that effected their financial health in 2020. This normally would have reduced their star rating. Due to the unprecedented nature of the pandemic, we give charities such as this one the opportunity to share the story of COVID's impact on them, and doing this pauses our revision of their rating. Charities may submit their own pandemic responses through their nonprofit portal.
Gleaners Food Bank of Indiana reported being impacted by COVID-19 in the following ways:
How COVID-19 impacted the organization's operations financially:
While donation revenue increased, the staffing challenges and food strategy challenges also increased. Prior to COVID-19, approximately 8% of food distributed was purchased. At the height of the pandemic, that number approached 40% and has leveled off at approximately 33%. At the same time, the most disrupted supply chain in decades made purchasing food difficult and expensive. In addition, our organization typically relied on 18,000 volunteers annually working the equivalent of nearly 50 FTEs. That number went to zero almost overnight, leading us to hire temporary workers to bridge the gap.
How COVID-19 impacted the organization's delivery of programs:
As an organization that relies heavily on volunteers - typically more than 18,000 annually - the pandemic cut that number by nearly 2/3. For months, we had no volunteers, utilizing temporary workers and ultimately the Indiana National Guard. Volunteers are returning, slowly, yet we still are filling less than 70% of our openings at this time.
How this organization adapted to changing conditions caused by COVID-19:
We adjusted all our food distribution programs to drive-thru, pre-packing Family Meal Boxes for distribution directly into the trunks of cars. Temporary workers and members of the Indiana National Guard packed these boxes and provided the labor typically done by volunteers. Staff who could work from home did so, with other key staff members rotating days in office in order to minimize exposure.
Innovations the organization intends to continue permanently after the pandemic:
Home delivery became a clear need early in the pandemic. As neighbors were quarantining or those at higher risk were isolating, getting out to a distribution was not feasible for them. With the assistance of some key corporate mission partners, we launched a home delivery program, delivering Family Meal Boxes and fresh produce to residents in Indianapolis. We have rolled that COVID program over into a regular part of our hunger relief programs, launching our own call center and maintaining that delivery option.
Gleaners Food Bank of Indiana has earned a 100% for the Impact & Results beacon. See the metrics below for more information.
This beacon estimates the actual impact a charity has on the lives of those it serves, and determines whether it is making good use of donor resources to achieve that impact.Learn more
Youth Programs, Senior Programs, Mobile Program, Community Cupboard, C.A.R.E. Mobile Pantry, Military Families and Veterans and Agency Partners
The nonprofit primarily collects, warehouses and distributes food to front-line organizations like food pantries and soup kitchens. It also manages smaller programs that serve meals and provide groceries directly to beneficiaries.
Time Period of Data
Outcomes: Changes in the lives of those served by a nonprofit. They can be caused by the nonprofit.
Costs: The money spent by a nonprofit and its partners and beneficiaries.
Impact: Outcome caused by a nonprofit relative to its cost.
Cost-effectiveness: A judgment as to whether the cost was a good use of resources to cause the outcome.
Outcome Data Source
Ratings are based on data the nonprofit itself collects on its work. We use the most recent year with sufficient data. Typically, this data allows us to calculate direct changes in participants' lives, such as increased income.
Outcome data collected during the program. The nonprofit publicly reports the amount of food it provides.
Method for Attributing Outcomes
We don't know if the observed changes were caused by the nonprofit's program or something else happening at the same time (e.g., a participant got a raise). To determine causation, we take the outcomes we observe and subtract an estimate of the outcomes that would have happened even without the program (i.e., counterfactual outcomes).
We assume that the distribution of a meal from one nonprofit's food distribution program does not diminish the amount of food distributed by any other (neighboring) food distribution program. This “counterfactual” assumption about the amount of food distributed in the absence of the nonprofit’s food distribution program implies that the benefit of a meal to a beneficiary in need constitutes a net gain; the gain is not offset by reductions in food provided to other beneficiaries in need. We therefore set the counterfactual to zero.
Cost Data Source
After estimating the program's outcomes, we need to determine how much it cost to achieve those outcomes. All monetary costs are counted, whether they are borne by a nonprofit service deliverer or by the nonprofit’s public and private partners.
Program cost data reported by the nonprofit. Partner and beneficiary costs reported by the nonprofit or estimated by Charity Navigator.
We calculate impact, defined as the change in outcomes attributable to a program divided by the cost to achieve those outcomes.
$2 provides a meal to a person in need.
Benchmark for Rating
Impact & Results scores of food distribution programs are based on the cost of a meal relative to the cost that a food-secure person incurs to buy a meal in that county. Programs receive an Impact & Results score of 100 if they are less than 75% the cost of a meal and a score of 75 if they are less than 125%. If a nonprofit reports impact but doesn't meet the threshold for cost-effectiveness, it earns a score of 50.
Gleaners Food Bank of Indiana reported its two largest programs on its FY 2019 Form 990 as:
Spent in most recent FY
Percent of program expenses
Spent in most recent FY
Percent of program expenses
Children and Senior Citizen Programs
Gleaners Food Bank of Indiana has earned a 100% for the Culture & Community beacon. See the metrics below for more information.
This beacon provides an assessment of the organization's culture and connectedness to the community it serves.Learn more
100% of beacon score
This organization reported that it is collecting feedback from the constituents and/or communities it serves. Charity Navigator believes nonprofit organizations that engage in inclusive practices, such as collecting feedback from the people and communities they serve, may be more effective.
Who are the people you serve with your mission? Describe briefly.
We serve individuals and families who are facing food insecurity in Indiana.
How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?
SMS text surveys, Focus groups or interviews (by phone or in person)
How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?
To inform the development of new programs/projects, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve
With whom does your organization share the feedback you got from the people you serve?
The people we serve, Our staff, Our board, Our funders, Our community partners
How has asking for feedback from the people you serve changed your relationship with them or shifted power - over decisions, resources, rules or in other ways - to them?
We are new to this space, but were able to use those connections to assist Feeding America in gathering lived experience information in advance of the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition and Health. We look forward to establishing a more permanent feedback loop with our neighbors to help inform work on program development and evaluation, equity, and more.
What challenges does your organization face in collecting feedback from the people you serve?
Briefly describe a recent change that your organization made in response to feedback from the people you serve.
In a recent study that we call Voice of Our Neighbors, we learned that lack of affordable health care and/or a single health event had placed a significant number of our neighbors in need of food assistance. Our Community Collaborations team engaged a partner that offers assistance for those on Medicare and Medicaid for a variety of issues, including assistance with payment of premiums and co-pays. We are also partnering with the Purdue Center for Health Equity and Walgreens to offer COVID-19 vaccinations and boosters, as well as flu shots for neighbors visiting our distributions. Lastly, we are planning the second round of this survey where we will dig deeper into equity, attempting to find barriers that may prevent people from accessing our services.
The organization reported that it is currently only implementing 2 Equity Practices. At this time, organizations must implement 3 or more of these practices in order to be scored on this metric. Charity Navigator believes nonprofit organizations implementing effective equity policies and practices can enhance a nonprofit's decision-making, staff motivation, innovation, and effectiveness.
Equity Practices (0/7)
The organization did not respond to this question.
Equity Policies and Procedures (2/7)
We use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
We have a promotion process that anticipates and mitigates implicit and explicit biases about people of color serving in leadership positions.
We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
We measure and then disaggregate job satisfaction and retention data by race, function, level, and/or team.
We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Gleaners Food Bank of Indiana has earned a 100% for the Leadership & Adaptability beacon. See the metrics below for more information.
This beacon provides an assessment of the organization's leadership capacity, strategic thinking and planning, and ability to innovate or respond to changes in constituent demand/need or other relevant social and economic conditions to achieve the organization's mission.Learn more
The nonprofit organization presents evidence of strategic thinking through articulating the organization's mission
GLEANERS' MISSION IS TO LEAD THE FIGHT AGAINST HUNGER IN CENTRAL AND SOUTHEAST INDIANA BY COLLECTING, STORING, AND DISTRIBUTING FOOD TO THOSE IN NEED.
The nonprofit organization presents evidence of strategic thinking through articulating the organization’s vision.
Food for every table. Hope for every future.
Source: Nonprofit submitted responses
The nonprofit organization presents evidence of strategic thinking and goal setting through sharing their most important strategic goals.
Goal One: Feed: Close the Meal Gap. Increase distribution to 100 million pounds annually; invest in downstream partner capacity; expand Fresh Connect produce co-op to include meat and dairy.
Goal Type: Grow, expand, scale or increase access to the existing programs and services.
Goal Two: Nourish: Focus on nutritional value of foods we distribute. 80% Foods to Encourage (produce, lean protein, dairy, healthy meal-making items); nutrition education; collaboration w/healthcare partners
Goal Type: Grow, expand, scale or increase access to the existing programs and services.
Goal Three: Empower: Improve the overall well-being of the communities we serve. Engage at the local level as partners; assist those who are ready onto a path of self-sufficiency.
Goal Type: New program(s) based on observed changes in needs among our constituencies/communities served.
The nonprofit provides evidence of investment in leadership development
Senior Leadership Team completed a 12-month leadership development program with CHORUS, Inc. This program focused on better understanding of our own management styles, as well as those of our colleagues. It also identified gaps in the team, allowing us to work on professional development efforts to fill those gaps. The program was so successful with senior team, that we are now part-way through an 18 month program with our Directors - the second leadership level of the organization. A strong focus on professional and leadership development at all levels of the organization is part of our annual operating budget, with opportunities available for all staff. In FY2022, we have invested in a new learning management system available to all employees and designed to enhance performance at all levels.
The nonprofit provides evidence of leadership through focusing externally and mobilizing resources for the mission.
Networks of Collective Impact Efforts
Gleaners is a collaborative partner in a variety of organizations, most notably Indy Hunger Network (in Indianapolis), Feeding Indiana's Hungry (the state food bank association), county-level hunger coalitions throughout our service area, and through Feeding America. In 2022, we have produced a video series highlighting different aspects of hunger relief, our role, and the partners with whom we collaborate. This effort is part of a robust marketing and communications campaign, designed to raise awareness of the complexity of food insecurity, and amplify the lived experience of the neighbors we serve. Through the state food bank association and Feeding America, Gleaners advocates on behalf of equitable and sustainable public policy and legislative proposals that address food insecurity and other social determinants of health.
The nonprofit has an opportunity to tell the story of how the organization adapted to tremendous external changes in the last year.
At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Gleaners had one way that we served our neighbors at our Indianapolis warehouse - in person shopping at our on-site food pantry. This pantry was quickly adjusted to a drive-thru distribution where, at the peak of the pandemic, we were serving over 4,000 households per week. As the pandemic progressed, we realized we were not serving all who needed it. Our Home Delivery program was developed to serve homebound families (lacking transportation or quarantining due to COVID). In October 2021, we launched a new program called Gleaners2Go, that allows our neighbors to shop from a list of available items and pick up their order at a scheduled time. We plan to expand this program to other pickup locations over the coming year. As of today, we've taken that one method of serving neighbors and converted it to four: In-person shopping at the pantry; Saturday morning drive-thru for those who prefer that type of distribution; home delivery for those without transportation; and Gleaners2Go. Through it all, we've been amazed at the adaptability and resilience of our staff and volunteers who embrace each new initiative and work to make it the most convenient and dignified experience for the neighbors we are privileged to serve.