Visitors to Section 2841-B—the "address" for the American Logistics Aid Network (ALAN) at ProMat 2011 in Chicago—quickly realized they weren't in for the usual trade show experience. Instead of being plied with literature or urged to watch a product demonstration, visitors were invited to grab an empty carton and pack a box of food for a family in need. This wasn't just a publicity stunt: With the help of sponsors and volunteers, the non-profit organization delivered nearly 10,000 pounds of donated groceries to the Greater Chicago Food Depository, a member of the Feeding America food bank network.
In addition to the show's organizer, the Material Handling Industry of America, ALAN received support from a number of donors, including Campbell Soup Co., ConAgra Foods, and Del Monte Foods (food donations); International Paper (packing boxes); Unex (conveyor and flow racks); Tri-Boro Shelving (work table); CHEP (pallets); Trifactor (booth design); and GES (booth space and services). Volunteers who prepared and staffed the booth included logistics and material handling professionals, teachers, and students.
For more information about ALAN and how you can help with the group's domestic and international projects, go to www.alanaid.org.