Community Food Club, a non-profit organization located in Grand Rapids, Michigan, facilitates a local grocery store for low-income families to purchase food through community donations from suppliers. This program is unique from other charitable food programs in that each shopper must purchase a monthly membership based on their household size and income to shop. Food is purchased from the food club using a point system instead of cash or credit cards. The team at Community Food Club needed a point-of-sale software (POS) system to run their program, but no out-of-the-box programs existed for the specific use they needed.
Emergent Software partnered with Community Food Club to create a custom solution that focuses on supporting membership capabilities, the food point payment system, and custom reporting & admin features.
Custom Membership Capabilities Ensure a Smooth Shopping Experience
Before an individual can begin shopping, they must check-in using their membership at a desk at the front of the store. A key component of the new POS system is the ability for Community Food Club volunteers to register or edit members into the system, with the ability to quickly find individuals using relevant information including name, address, or phone number. In addition to managing new/existing memberships, the front desk collects shopper feedback through a survey platform, which is integrated into the POS software. This helps the team to improve the program and provide a better shopping experience.
After a shopper is checked in, they can begin shopping. When finished, they make their way to the checkout station where a Community Food Club team member rings up their purchase. Members pay for groceries using points, which they receive with their membership. The system allows for a quick checkout process with oversized touchscreen-compatible buttons and generates a custom receipt, printed through a receipt printer, and then given to the customer.
Reporting and Admin Features to Support Program Management
The POS software creates custom reports for the Community Food Club team to measure membership numbers, inventory, and generates specific financial reporting used to adhere to various government and non-profit laws. The software also is built with the administrative user in mind with membership management features.
The Community Food Club team has thoroughly enjoyed using their new POS software and has partnered with Emergent Software since 2014, updating the system over the years with enhancements as the food club continues to grow and evolve. The POS system has played a key role in helping Community Food Club meet the needs of their local community and beyond.
Spreading the Power of Custom Software to More Organizations
Community Food Club has offered their custom solution to be used by other similar organizations including the Lakeshore Food Club in Ludington, Michigan. Emergent Software partnered with the Lakeshore Food Club to customize the solution to fit their needs. Community Food Club continues to explore how it can share the value that this custom software with many other non-profit organizations.