One Piece of What it Takes to Distribute Food Across Central Texas


In the vast network of Central Texas Food Bank's daily operations, the Order Clerk role may seem routine, but it plays a pivotal part in ensuring food reaches our neighbors in need. Elijah Coleman, our Team Member of the Month, holds this crucial position, collaborating with teams across the Food Bank to achieve our mission to end hunger.

Elijah's journey with the Food Bank began with volunteering in the warehouse, where she learned how we provide immediate and equitable access to nutritious food. Her diverse job history - from art and writing to retail and warehousing - speaks to her adaptability and versatility, just the skills needed for a role that impacts various food distribution programs within the Food Bank. Elijah has grown and thrived in a role that requires a lot of juggling, and her supervisor, Andrew Ingrassia, shares that, "Working with Elijah is great because she has been able to take on a completely new role and learn about the intricacies of inventory and ordering for our internal programs and Partner Agencies. Elijah continues to provide quality work and builds meaningful relationships with other team members and our partners."

Collaboration is key in the intricate web of food distribution. Elijah collaborates with teams across the Food Bank to facilitate the smooth flow of food from order placement to delivery. She is keenly aware of how much the team relies on her to complete tasks in a timely fashion. "I joke that I am the gatekeeper of the orders," she says.

Elijah's job kicks off early each morning, reviewing orders from Partner Agencies to ensure accuracy and equitable distribution of resources across agencies of different sizes. The meticulous process involves identifying potential issues such as typos in the system or overordering. When able, she adds extra produce to orders to prevent waste and encourage fresh and healthy options. Once completed, orders get sent to the warehouse team for preparation, and the transportation team receives a report from Elijah to begin routing trucks for the next day.

Beyond the numbers and logistics, Elijah values the human aspect of her work. Building relationships with team members within the Food Bank and hearing positive feedback from Partner Agencies reinforces for her the positive impact of our efforts across Central Texas. "I like that at the end of the day, what looks like 205,000 pounds scheduled for a Wednesday on my screen is actually 205,000 pounds of food being distributed to thousands of people who need it. And that makes me excited. It looks like just a number on my side, but it's not. That's so much food that's helping people," she shares.