Banking on Positive Turbulence

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In this episode, we connect with Dave Krepcho, CEO of the Second Harvest Food Bank in Orlando Florida. We’ll learn how Dave is going far beyond what you’d normally expect from a food bank and making in-roads in the fight against hunger.




The Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida is in Disney World’s neighborhood. For most of us who don’t live in Orlando or Central Florida, we don’t consider the world beyond the theme park. But, of course, there is a world beyond the theme park, and many people who live there, like so many other parts of the world, they struggle to get food on the table.

Dave Krepcho came into being the CEO of Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida in 2004 not sure he wanted to do it. Not because he didn’t want the job, but because he saw a good and stable organization and didn’t want to do anything to take away from the success they were already enjoying. With that humble beginning and through several significant innovations and growth,  Dave is leading the charge to end hunger.


 Among some of the successful innovations Dave has led at Second Harvest are

  • On site professional chef training and job placement
  • Catering services
  • On site community space
  • The creation of deep relationships and medical practitioners to deliver a very successful nutritional training program for the people they serve


    Banking on Positive Turbulence

    Rob Brodnick: Welcome to the Positive Turbulence podcast, stories from the periphery. Here we journey to the edge to talk to Turbulators about their experiences creating positive change. I’m Rob Brodnick. In this episode, we connect with Dave Krepko, CEO of the Second Harvest Food Bank in Orlando, Florida. We’ll learn how Dave is going far beyond what you’d normally expect from a food bank, and making inroads in the fight against hunger.

    Karyn Zuidinga: Hi, I’m Karen Zuidinga, your co host for the podcast. Those of us who work in the for profit space tend to believe that the not for profit sector is not so much innovative. We tend to think not for profit organizations and their leaders are well meaning, hard working, pressed for time, but not really entrepreneurial and even less so innovative.

    But if there’s a mold, Dave Krepko has broken it. He’s challenging convention about what a food bank does, how a not for profit should work, and he’s pushed the idea that food is medicine and medicine is food to bold new horizons. The work Second Harvest has done collaborating with health care providers and insurers around this idea has resulted in successful health outcomes for the people they serve.

    Our conversation like Dave was inspiring, humble, and creatively challenging. We’ll jump into our interview with Dave in just a few seconds, but first a quick word from this episode’s sponsor, Crown Holdings. Crown is the world’s leading manufacturer of innovative metal packaging to enhance brands and engage consumers.

    As metal is infinitely recyclable, it’s the most sustainable packaging material. Visit crowncork. com to learn more. Also we would like to thank Mac Avenue Music Group as a contributing sponsor. To hear our theme and other great music, visit macavenue. com. How do you do that? So, I don’t work in the not for profit sector very often, but the one thing I do know about the not for profit sector is they tend to be even more stressed for time than It seems like anybody else, right?

    And, and the, the resources are so slim. The places you go to get money are the same places everybody’s going to get money. So there’s a lot of constraints. How do you, in that constraint driven environment, have the wherewithal to stick your head up and go, No, we’re not only going to plan for the future, but we’re going to aim to innovate.

    We’re going to be, we’re going to push farther than Anybody else like that seems to be a very difficult balance to

    Dave Krepcho: achieve it is I you know It’s a combination of a couple of key factors. I really believe in vision And you must have a big vision Otherwise, people are not going to get excited. They’re not going to get engaged.

    And you have to create this vision of what could be possible. Yeah. And to paint that as clearly as possible. And then, if that vision is not accomplished, to be able to communicate that in terms of pain for the community, not your organization. Because really, it’s not about Second Harvest. It’s about the community, and it’s about this population of low income people that we serve.

    I think in the majority of non profits… They’re focused on themselves. That might sound a little odd, okay? But a lot of the time it could be about them. You know, here’s the problem that I have, and here are the problems, and you’ve got to deal with those. But people don’t want another problem. You know, they want solutions.

    They want a place to plug in. So the other key element beyond vision, I really believe, is just in your outlook on life or philosophy. And it’s got to be super positive. And that old adage of that glass half full or half empty. So most nonprofits, like you said, are, are going around, Oh, poor us, this is happening.

    This is happening. And there’s this mentality of scarcity and we operate from a mentality of abundance. That there is more than enough money to cure this problem, our issue, and many others. It’s just a matter of connecting with the appropriate folks, you know, to do that. You know, that’s very high level.

    But when you can execute that at a lower level, what you find and what I found over the years Is that more resources automatically follow and you attract new money. Okay, so that’s that abundance mentality. You know, in a real quick example of something so exciting we’re working on for the past three and a half years.

    I see it as a big part of the future. We’re working directly with the health care industry now, food bank. And three years ago, four years ago, you wouldn’t think of that. What’s the connection there? Well, by, by looking at that intersection and by investing the time in that, we now have healthcare, we have hospitals, we have community health departments, we have federally qualified health clinics, we have health insurance companies and other charitable foundations coming to us.

    To give us more money because of this direction. So again, it’s all about innovation. Believe me, you know, the, the direction we went, and that’s all about positive turbulence. You know, talking about that topic. I don’t know. I think I have it in my DNA and I just find it exciting. And when you can create the right culture for that, And then bring the right people that want that culture and understand it and want to live it, and then bring on a board of directors in like style.

    It’s amazing what can happen. It’s very exciting stuff. Yeah, I think

    Rob Brodnick: you’ve produced some pretty amazing results, Dave. I think part of it is your mindset. I mean, I see you doing things differently. A lot of people think about a soup kitchen and a food kitchen as, you know, this small kind of rundown something in a, in a back alley and, you know, a line of people there.

    And when I visited your facility, it’s a 100 million plus facility with some of the latest technology. I mean, you’ve taken food distribution to a level that, that is quite amazing. I think you use positive turbulence, whether intentionally or not, to disrupt what’s happening in the central Florida economy.

    So you mentioned now this new connection with healthcare. What are some other ways that your use of positive turbulence and your view to see things and do things a little differently has disrupted what people normally think the few,

    Dave Krepcho: Well, there’s, there’s lots of examples, but you know, one example I’d like to start with is when I started here 15 years ago and was brand new to the community.

    And one of the things I did in my 90 day plan in the first 30 days, I visited all of our major financial donors, you know, and got to know them and my board. And then 31 days after I was here, four hurricanes crisscrossed the state, major disasters in Orlando, Central Florida got hit, you know, and I have three facilities, all three facilities hit, everybody’s down.

    And I’m 31 days old on the job, but there’s a literal turbulence.

    There’s no metaphor there, baby. Out of that, there was this positive turbulence that rose. And when I reflect back on it. It accelerated my insight into the culture of the food bank and the nature of the community here. There’s nothing like a disaster to do that, you know, it’s intense. It’s immediate. And during that, I found out on my team, disasters will do this, you find out either the very best in people’s characters are the very worst.

    There’s usually not an in between, you know, whether it be the fires in California or Floods or tornadoes or hurricanes. So it gave me this insight into my staff immediately and who would step up or who might not step up. But it immediately, this, this positive turbulence really helped me change the organizational design and the culture of the organization.

    Because in the first 30 days, what I was experiencing with staff is that I would have a small line of people outside of my office waiting to see me. And saying, Hey, Dave, what do we do here, you know, on this program? What, what do we do here? What do we do here? And it was so vertical in terms of design. I said, Oh my God, you know, you can’t proceed with this.

    We’ve got too much work to do. So what the hurricane did, I had to immediately go very horizontal. An organizational structure and people had to throw out some of the rules of day to day food banking. They had to think with a sense of urgency and addressing community needs. It forced us to work with non traditional partners.

    So, that was a very unique introductory experience for me. It really helped start to shift or shape shift the organizational structure in our culture. I mean, you had to, you had to innovate during those kinds of times. Or nothing would happen. So that’s just kind of the tip of the iceberg on that one. But I feel that was a very fortunate moment.

    Sounds counterintuitive, but it’s that old lemonade principle, or there’s got to be a pony in there somewhere. So that’s one example. Another one was when we were designing this facility that we’re in now. That some of the design elements took back some of my board members or some of my staff members wondering what are you talking about?

    Why would we do that? I’ll give you one example within the example in the design of the facility I said I want community space. They said well food banks don’t do community stuff like that. We’re a warehouse kind of deal We’re all about logistics. Yeah, that that’s important But I said, you know, our vision is to inspire and engage the community to end hunger.

    And literally, that’s our vision. So I said, with that vision, that should reflect everything we do. So how does that vision direct the design of the new facility? So this community room, and Rob, you’ve seen it, and AMI members will see it when they come to Orlando in April. But it’s built to have rent space to local corporate groups, government groups, anybody in the community, state of the art audio visual, we have 150 people, 150 in that room today, all day long, and we get some revenue off the room, but I call it our Trojan horse, that when you can get somebody into the food bank and they can see, get a glimpse of what you’re doing, it’s awesome.

    They can become much more likely to be a volunteer, financial donor, food donor, all three of those. So, the Trojan horse thing is, so you have this space, you open it up to people, they come in, there’s free parking, it’s close to downtown, it’s great space, state of the art AV, you don’t have to rent a AV projector for 600 a day, you know.

    And they know the proceeds are going to a good cause, and then they need food service, So, we have the other entrepreneurial piece. Of the community kitchen that does catering, we’ll do a half a million dollars for catering this year. But in the five years we’ve been here, there’s been a total collective people that have utilized the venue of anywhere from 25 to 30, 000 people, and they, 90 percent of them had no other reason to come to the food bank.

    So, you know, we can’t track specifically what that translates into, but I look at the past five years of revenue growth. And I know some of it’s attributed to it and Karen, that goes back to one of your questions a little while ago about these constraints on nonprofits and everything. And then a lot of those nonprofits too, you know, some of the constraints are unfortunately a product of maybe lack of vision.

    You know, there’s a number of nonprofits that are so overly dependent on government grants, but they’re, they’re dependent either that or on just. Certain grants from specific foundations, and that’s important revenue sources. But one of the things that we have scroll for, and it ties into engaging the community that 65 percent of our revenue here is from individuals.

    And it’s non restrictive income. What does that mean? What it means is that people are donating and it’s not going to a specific program of, right. It’s not tied. So they trust us to use it where we see, I would say the typical nonprofit, their unrestricted income is certainly well below 50%. So you have to have this mix of revenue sources.

    Just like you, you know, you do your personal investing, you got to have a mix if something goes up or down, you got, you got other things in the works, but so anyway, the other example sort of got off topic there a bit, but this community room at first was like, there were questions around, you know, then here’s, here’s a great example of positive turbulence.

    We designed this community kitchen in the heart of the facility. It’s a 2, 000 square foot, state of the art commercial kitchen where we’re doing culinary job training of low income people and homeless people. And at the end of 16 weeks, we’re placing them into jobs. So we’ve had 280 graduates. We have 100 percent job placement rate.

    It’s golden. That’s amazing. But when we came up with the concept, and I remember during the capital campaign trying to raise the 17 million, I went to one of our foundations that knew and loved us and supported us. And the guy looked at me goes What the hell are you doing a kitchen for? Are you crazy?

    You know, we don’t need a kitchen. This is a major donor. That was fascinating. And now I bring him back and I go, This is why we did the kitchen.

    Rob Brodnick: I think it’s incredible, Dave. And I was so impressed with your entrepreneurial spirit. And in fact, I think that’s one of the ways that you’ve brought a little disruption and turbulence to the industry is if you think about the model of nonprofits and fundraising, you gather resources, redistribute them.

    And pretty much go through that cycle and a lot of nonprofits run that way. But, but you said, no, we’re going to do something entrepreneurial and we’re going to have that entrepreneurial approach have not just a direct effect, but many ripple effects. And so I really impressive. You want to talk a little bit more about that entrepreneurial spirit and how that’s affected what the food bank does in central

    Dave Krepcho: Florida.

    It’s interesting at the food bank, and I believe this is applicable to. Other organizations and businesses in their own unique ways. Is that I have found for me as an artist and a designer that the food bank is my pellet, and on that pellet, there are so many possible color combinations of things, such as community kitchens, and community rooms, and outreach programs, and all that.

    That it’s a wonderful platform to work from, especially if you have the entrepreneurial spirit and to do that at the food bank. When I started here, they were, they were a solid organization, good reputation. I knew the former director for a number of years, and I almost didn’t take the job because I didn’t want to blow it.

    What does that mean? You didn’t want to blow it? Yeah, that they were solid, good reputation, doing good work. Oh,

    Karyn Zuidinga: you, you feared you might come in and

    Dave Krepcho: screw it up. Right. So, you know, in the interview, I, you know, with the search committee, I said, you know, I really respect your organization and Margaret, you know, your outgoing leader, and if you want to keep doing that kind of thing, that’s I’ll respect that, but I’m not your guy.

    I said, if you are willing to look at new opportunities and innovation, I see tremendous potential and opportunity here. That’s what I’m looking for. So it’s, I think it starts there, this entrepreneurial piece. Where you have to have the culture. I think a lot of it has to be either coming down from the top or supported from the top combination thereof, but coming into that rather stayed structure.

    They said yes. Okay, bring you on board. And the board then started to think differently, you know, in terms of opportunity and that, and it was a series of small wins at the beginning, because I know some of my ideas. Would have been too much big change too quick. And I didn’t want to do that. So we, you

    Karyn Zuidinga: were quite deliberate then about trying little things.

    Dave Krepcho: Facing it. Yeah. Cause I had to get the credibility of the board behind me and I had to get the credibility of the key staff members, the team members, you know, so took that approach and we, we started to get some small wins and then we got some medium wins, you know, and then. Then you find out that, oh, okay, the water temperature is different here and it feels good.

    Let’s do some more of this stuff. Yeah. And that can create, it does create momentum. And in our board meeting this morning, 15, 16 years later since I’ve been here, the board members are, you know, saying, Hey, what if, you know, what if we did this, you know, and you’re having these very generative conversations.

    About the big, big questions versus the very more mundane fiduciary kind of conversations of counting the dollars and looking at policies, you got to do that kind of stuff. That’s really those nuts and bolts. But we take out of an hour and a half board meeting. We take an hour of it. For, uh, either a generative question or a high level strategic topic.

    Anyway, I hope that answered your question, Rob, on that entrepreneurial piece. But the other part of it, and I think I saw it in the chapter in your book, or I’ve heard from Stan over the years, is that really embracing failure, Because failure does come with some of this stuff. It’s not all roses and candy, you know, and embracing failure is something very, very foreign to 98 percent of society, you know, or people in the workplace.

    And it’s like, okay, when, when we screw up, we’re going to learn at least twice as much from failure than we are from success. And so what’s the learning and what are we going to do differently next time? And I’ll take that to another level. I hosted five of the key food banks in the country, the most progressive food banks that I hang out with, brought in their CEOs that I know, and brought in some of their board members from around the country, and hosted a day and a half forum here at the food bank.

    And each of us five do that on a rotating basis. And then part of it is you give a tour of your food bank. So some of these board members and again, They’re from the the bigger markets more progressive ones. You’ve seen food banks, right? So this concept of failure our tour I designed it as a failure tour and We had about six different Areas around the food bank where we would stop and I would have a key leader staff leader.

    Talk about the failure in that area. Wow. What we learned and what we’re doing about it. And people were like totally into it because you don’t talk about that stuff And one of these ceos that i’ve known for a long time He takes me aside at dinner and he goes i’m so glad you talked about xyz failure because We lost our shirts on it, too, you know?

    Yeah. Yeah. Yeah, yeah, yeah. So, being an entrepreneur, you have to face up to that.

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    Karyn Zuidinga: Take a beat here because, you know, as an entrepreneur, you’re out in the community, you talk to other entrepreneurs and you ask, how’s it going? And 99. 9 percent of the time people respond with great. Oh my God, we’re crushing it. It’s so good out there. Yes. But it can’t possibly be. If you do that, there’s no way that everyone is doing as well as they say.

    Right. Otherwise we’d all be, you know, retired at 30.

    Dave Krepcho: I’ve suggested the idea of defeating America for one of their national conferences to be a failure conference. Yeah. I

    Rob Brodnick: love the idea. I, I just think that’s a great

    Karyn Zuidinga: idea. But those are, those are hard and vulnerable places to be and, and this kind of, I’ve been Formulating a question as, as you’ve been speaking, Dave, thinking about as I’m talking to you, that to me you’re very much an embodiment of positive turbulence, because you’re, for me positive turbulence is so much about flow.

    You’re about going with the flow, reading the organization, not pushing too hard in the beginning, a hurricane blows in, okay well that’s some serious change, okay we’re gonna go, we’re gonna go with that flow and we’re gonna see how that goes. And so often, and I think perhaps more so in And not for profits, but I see it all over the place that there’s a fear, a desire to never be vulnerable, a desire to control, right, to hold on and just like, and you know, you get hired a CEO and you came in with the fear that you’d mess this thing up.

    You’d be like, I don’t want to bring this organization, good organization that’s doing good work, I don’t want to bring them down. So you, you have that pressure, that responsibility for those people that you want to help. You walk in and you decide, you know what? Flow is okay. I don’t need to

    Dave Krepcho: control.


    Karyn Zuidinga: What’s going on in your brain that maybe our listeners can learn from who, you know, on some quiet self reflection, maybe go, maybe I am being a little controlling. Maybe I do need to let go.

    Dave Krepcho: Start from this kind of mindset. And I, I had a little poster in my office for a while and I, I gave it to another staff member to put it up in their office for a while.

    And it’s got this Buddhist monk in the lotus position, You know, sitting next to a pond, and it says, Don’t worry, everything is out of control.

    LAUGHS But you have to be… Comfortable with a lot of ambiguity, you know, you have to hold in one hand the reality of how is this going to be really executed and come to fruition between those two things. There’s that gap of ambiguity and you have to be very, very comfortable with that. And maybe that I know that for me personally, and probably for most people that I think perhaps that comes with experience or age, you know, that you’ve experienced those things during your career or life or whatever, and you can be more comfortable, you know, or more comfortable in your own skin.

    And then there’s one other key thing I don’t want to forget. It’s talked about from time to time, but I will be in meetings with staff and there’ll be an issue where people can’t come to terms with it. There’s a couple, you know, there’s 2 viewpoints on it. I’m always trying to remind them that often there’s a third way that you have validity on both sides here, but, you know, that’s a pretty polarized way of looking at something and what could a third way possibly look like?

    And I think, and that line of thinking, you know, automatically start going down the line of innovation or, or turbulence for sure, or positive turbulence. That wonderful saying I love that it’s it’s not either or it’s yes, and yes, and you know, you can make that work Dave

    Rob Brodnick: let me ask I’ve heard you use the phrase food is medicine Yeah, and then I’ve heard you describe some really exciting innovations And I think you had a little bit about the healthcare field, but taking the concept of food as medicine, can you share a little bit about your vision as to how you’re planning to bring together some industries that maybe even have been at odds with each other, but now are going to have to learn to play together?

    Dave Krepcho: Yeah, I didn’t come up with the term food as medicine. Hippocrates said it centuries ago. Okay, well

    Rob Brodnick: then it’s, it’s been around for a little while.

    Dave Krepcho: He said, let food be thine medicine, and let medicine be thine food. True then and true today. And as an organization, and as most food banks have been doing over the years, you get the food in, you get the food out, and it was, is primarily based on Just sheer volume.

    Okay, as the health care situation in this country started to become more clear to the issues we have with it, and we started to hear more about the obesity epidemic and this country. I mean, it is. It is severe. The statistics are very, very scary. It’s so bad with dietary and nutritional diseases now that This is the first generation of kids that might not outlive their parents.

    So, with that coming through, with fights over Medicaid and Medicaid expansion, so we started to look at… You know, what is our role in community health? Could we possibly have one? So, long story short, started having conversations with the board, and here’s the wonderful positive turbulence thing. You’ve got the board together, the senior staff, and I drew a continuum on a flip chart, a horizontal line, and I said, Okay.

    On one far end here, our philosophy is going to be we’ll accept candy, marshmallow peeps, anything that comes our way, jolt cola, whatever. Then on the other end of the continuum, we’re not going to accept any of that stuff. And we’re going to have very strict requirements, blah, blah, blah. So I asked each individual member to come up and gave him a magic marker.

    And I said, where do you stand on this continuum? So it was an interesting way to see where individuals stood, but after 25 of them made their mark on the continuum, we all stood back and looked at it. And it gave the collective picture of where the board stood. And, you know, you had a majority of the people towards the center.

    And then you had very passionate people on the far left saying, you know, Who are we to judge these people on telling them what to eat? Most of us are overweight. We don’t eat well, you know. And then on on the other far side of the continuum, we had people equally passionate saying with what we know Now, about the impact of nutrition and the dangers of sugared soda and all this stuff, how can we not?

    How can we accept this kind of stuff? Long, long story short, out of that, some of the best board discussions we’ve had. And we came up with the first nutritional policy for the organization. You know, and it has now changed our business model. We thought, okay, we’re in an agricultural state. If work can be more intentional about sourcing fresh fruits and vegetables directly from the farmers and growers.

    Not only the product, but so today what we do and this poor food bank. This is amazing 76 percent of our distribution annually is healthy foods and for food banks. It’s typically under 50 percent Yeah, but along with the food what we’ve done is that you have to have the nutritional education with it Because a lot of these folks grew up in environments where they didn’t have the money to buy it culturally, you know, we’ve heard, hey, if it’s not fried, it’s not food.

    You know, those kinds of things. What do you mean brown rice? What’s wrong with it? You know, how do I fix this stuff? You know, so we have two full time dietitians on staff. One’s also a chef. They’re doing nutritional education with our feeding partners, with their clients. We’re doing nutritional education in Title I elementary schools with kids at a lower level.

    We’re doing taste testings. We’re taking groups of people through grocery stores and saying, here’s how you read a label and what’s healthy and what’s not. Here’s how you can eat healthier on a food stamp budget. And so again, fast forward to today, for the past couple of years, we formed a health and hunger task force.

    And we have the three major hospital systems on that task force. They really don’t get together otherwise. There’s a lot of competition. You know, they’re at the table. The county health departments are all at the table. These federally qualified health clinics are at the table, plus a couple of docs and surgeons and that, and we’ve invested time in learning more about their world and their challenges and opportunities, and they learned a lot more about what the food bank could bring to the table.

    And here’s the incredible beauty of it. We’re co creating program. I mean, that’s, that is typically not done in a not for profit world in many, many cases. So we’ve received two multi year six figure grants from two of the partners at the table already. Now, uh, a major health insurance company has come to the table that we never worked with.

    And we’re creating something we’ve never done before. We’re creating something called the Healthy Food Pantry Network. So this is the simple, quick description of how it works. We’re joined at the hip with the hospitals. So when a low income person is pre screened coming into the hospital, they’re asked Do you have food at home?

    There’s two screening questions. They never asked the question before. I mean, that’s like a moral thing, right? Yeah. So medicine is food. Food is medicine. They go, when we ask them, are you, are you asking them to go? Oh my God, no, we’re not. So it starts there. And then when they’re discharged, I just love this.

    When they’re discharging, it’s a low income patient, typically with diabetes, hypertension, food related disease, or obesity related disease, that they’re given a food prescription, they take that to any one of our healthy food pantries. They’re guaranteed a hundred percent healthy food with nutritional education.

    And there’s a condition that their biometrics are, are tracked and over time, and we’re getting very close to seeing the, the outcomes of this, this, the health outcomes that what’s the difference in their health outcomes. We’ve done a small pilot around this and we’re seeing BMIs have improved. Weight has been lost and self efficacy has increased.

    And do they understand the impact more? Are they shopping better, cooking better, that kind of thing? So not only is there a better result for population health, Here’s again, the other entrepreneurial piece of it, that a nonprofit has not gone the big kahuna, the healthcare industry. We painted a financial value proposition for them because they’re looking to save money, okay?

    There are millions of dollars paid for early readmission penalties within 30 days. So we painted this picture, did our homework, and said, Listen, an ER visit costs 13, 000 to 14, 000, an outpatient visit is like 3, 000 or 4, 000, or would you rather invest a few hundred dollars a month in healthy food and nutritional education to avoid that?

    Then we looked at their campuses and did some assumptions and projections. I mean, I presented to the CEO of the largest health system here and his whole board. And I said, if 10 percent of these people weren’t readmitted and there was a positive outcome, here’s the financial savings to it, potential financial savings to it, and here is the return on investment.

    And it’s huge. And I, and I said, please, you know, if I’m smoking something here, you let me know, you know, but does this make sense? You see, Dave, we love it, here’s a half a million dollars, go do it.

    Rob Brodnick: Wow. Oh my gosh, that’s amazing. Well, it seems like you’re taking a full systems approach to what may seem to be an isolated problem and considering it much more broadly, but let me take that, extend that line of thinking a little bit, and if you could, let’s imagine we’re looking decades into the future How do you think society is finally going to solve the hunger problem?

    Dave Krepcho: Well, it’s interesting because we’re, we’re starting future planning around that question. We talked about it briefly in our board meeting this morning. A few years ago, we looked at what is the meal gap in our community, and it’s just massive. Even with what the food bank does, with what the schools do in feeding children, what SNAP or Food Stamp does, and all those other programs.

    There’s a huge gap and it’s looking on and again, I think this is out of your, out of your book, looking on the periphery, you know, that what context that view gave us that I said, we’re not going to food bank our way out of the problem. And there was a lot of silence around that, you know, so what, so what’s it going to take?

    So the path that we’re exploring now. At one point, it’s very exciting, and then the other point, it’s a little scary. Okay, so there’s that, I’m trying to get comfortable with that ambiguity, you know. But we’re looking at this term called collective impact. You know, it’s been around for a while, but it’s a very loosely used term, and a lot of folks really aren’t practicing it, but collective impact is Looking at an issue much more holistically and how a number of us in the community are working with the same population in different facets and we’re working in our silos.

    Okay. And we’re doing good work. Okay. It’s not a knock on anybody, but. You know, what if we truly all work together collectively around this population? We leveraged our resources as a result. Wouldn’t it be a lighter load and a more effective solution if we could accomplish that? Now, that’s a real hairy thing to pull off, okay?

    And we’ve been experimenting on a very small scale with some pilots around that, and we found one that worked very well, and then we… One that, you know, just flopped, but we’ve learned a lot from it, but we want to look at these four social determinants around this population. One being health, and we see nutrition and food as part of that.

    One is education. One is housing or shelter, and then the fourth one is income or jobs. So what we’re thinking of is convening a group of providers, private and nonprofit and governmental, that deal in those four sectors. And how do we come together to, to address that population, you know, in a more holistic way in each of those areas, because they each have an influence on each other, you know, so it’s a very different way of working.

    And a lot of people on the outside don’t even think about that kind of thing, but. There’s an incredible lack of that. And I believe, and I know financial donors, some key financial donors, especially the larger ones, they’re looking for stuff like that. We just got another three year, six figure grant last week from a local foundation and it was around the health and hunger, but it was.

    A big piece of it was that we were collaborating with another nonprofit that we brought into the picture and that nonprofit was working with the same population, you know, in a different way, but hopefully it’s going to, it’s going to be a 1 plus 1 equals 3 kind of thing. Thank you

    Karyn Zuidinga: so much, Dave. I think that we let you go.

    That was a relatively

    Dave Krepcho: painless. So when’s the interview start? Now that we’re warmed up, let’s get to the small talk. Yeah, do you know

    Karyn Zuidinga: there’s so many times when we were talking Dave that I was getting, you know, just chills down my spine and it’s a warm room. There’s just so many amazing things that you’re doing and it’s pretty incredible.

    Yeah, the connectedness that you’re thinking about and You know, we like to in the tech industry in the world that I live in, we love to throw around terms like co collaboration and, you know, fail fast and all this, you know, sort of people say, right? It’s really, you know, we just throw a lot of terms around, but I really feel like you’re taking them and embodying them in a, in a very thoughtful, I want to say wholesome way.

    Rob Brodnick: Yeah, you’re doing it. There’s a real wholesomeness

    Karyn Zuidinga: to the, to the whole conversation that, that I am so inspired by.

    Dave Krepcho: And so that’s our mission to inspire and engage the community. Yeah.

    Karyn Zuidinga: You’ve done that for me. I am certain you’ve done that for our listeners. Crown was founded in 1892 by the inventor of the bottle cap.

    Revolutionizing the bottling industry. Today, Crown is proudly the leading global supplier of rigid packaging products to consumer marketing companies. Visit crowncork. com to learn more. Thank you to AMI, who have nurtured us in developing this podcast, is the source of so many of our guests, and of course, the founder, Stan Griskevich, is also the author of the original book, and dare I say, the crown prince of positive turbulence.

    AMI is

    Rob Brodnick: a pioneering nonprofit organization comprised of committed individuals who foster and leverage creativity and innovation in organizations and society. AMI identifies leading edge innovation, shares experiences, sponsors research, and recognizes innovation and creative processes. Find out more at aminnovation.

    org. And thank you to Mack Avenue Music Group, our contributing sponsor, for providing our podcast soundtrack, Late Night Sunrise.

    Karyn Zuidinga: Find out more about your hosts, Positive Turbulence, our guests, or check out our very cool and very diverse reading list, head over to PositiveTurbulence. com. Until next time, keep the turbulence positive.