A local authority has halved delivery times for its school holiday food box scheme, thanks to new planning software.
Following the success of the #BrightentheDay scheme last summer, Gateshead Council ran the Cook n’ Eat initiative over Easter as part of its government-funded holiday and activities programme.
It provided more than 1,750 families eligible for free school meals with a food box to make a week’s worth of healthy, tasty meals, including recipe cards.
While the scheme itself was a success last year, Gateshead Council found that manually planning the delivery routes and schedules was both time-consuming and inefficient. But this year, it has signed up Newcastle-based company The Algorithm People, which is providing its My Transport Planner route optimisation platform.
The platform has halved the time it takes for each driver to complete their route, from eight hours to just four, which has had a corresponding saving on fuel, significantly reducing council costs and emissions.
It’s also significantly saved time on planning the routes – which used to take a full day but now takes just minutes. And the routes are far more efficient, thanks to the My Transport Planner fully pay-as-you-go route optimisation platform.
Michael Walker, poverty lead at Gateshead Council, said: “Being able to deliver all the food boxes in half the time means that we can return the drivers and vehicles to their community support roles much quicker. Furthermore, it has enabled us to react much faster to vulnerable residents who require emergency food parcels outside of Cook n’ Eat. In short, My Transport Planner has improved every aspect of our delivery operation.”