It’s not uncommon for companies to support great charitable causes and experience the powerful benefits of shared purpose and pride it creates. The question has always been, how do you keep a good thing going after the coat drive is completed and last matching contribution is paid?
RLS Logistics, a national third-party logistics provider, specializing in temperature-controlled logistics, has solved the sustainability challenge through a new giving program that taps into the very essence of their work moving pallets. In doing so we’ve created a unique way to give back and inspire our team members throughout the day, every day.
With RLS Logistics’ new Pallets 4 Plates program, every pallet moved by the company triggers a charitable donation. In 2019, that amounted to 305,500 plates of food supplied to charities in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Utah that include Food Cowboy and the Food Bank of South Jersey. In addition, equivalent cash contributions have also been made to YMCA, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Baker’s Club of Philadelphia, American Heart Association, numerous local schools and youth sports teams.
The program involves team members throughout the organization in the effort. Pallets 4 Plates leverages the idea that it takes a team to move a pallet. Every team member in each business unit and the department has a part in the program.
“We move pallets, it’s what we do. Whether it’s being received or shipped or billed, at the end of the day, everyone can all relate to a pallet,” says RLS President & CEO, Warehousing Group, Anthony M. Leo.
Pallets 4 Plates gives everyone in the RLS organization a role in that shared purpose. Every pallet they move directly or indirectly through their work helps families in need put food on the table or sponsors mentorship programs for at-risk kids. This feature makes the Pallets 4 Plates program as powerful as it is unique. With Pallets 4 Plates, every task and workflow related to the supply chain counts, and everyone plays a role over the long-haul.
“For every 4 pallets that our team members move, we donate 1 plate of food with this program,” Leo describes.
That makes moving the pallet count a motivator to every team member of the RLS supply chain and for everyone up and down the organization chart.
The idea for Pallets 4 Plates grew organically from RLS team members who witnessed countless incidents where good food was being thrown out due to damaged boxes or ordering mistakes. A number of our team members started to wonder how to get those foodstuffs to people in need. After searching for options, the RLS team discovered Food Cowboy, an organization dedicated to matching unmarketable food with food charities.
“It was really the initiative of a few team members saying, ‘why are we wasting so much food, and is there something we could be doing differently as a company when there are so many needy people who could use it?”
Asking those questions led to the partnership with Food Cowboy and set the table for contributions to additional food and community-focused charities.
The theme of food and community runs throughout RLS’s 52-year history and humble beginnings as mushroom farmers. Our family-owned company has deep ties to the communities we serve. And these communities continue to expand across the U.S. through their growing network of cold storage facilities and transportation services in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Utah.
“There are families in need all around us. They can be anyone in the community and you wouldn’t necessarily know it,” Leo says. “Pallets 4 Plates ties into our roots as a company and our culture and way of looking after our community.”
RLS Logistics is looking to make a bigger impact than ever this year. The company’s growth mode means more pallets will move and more plates will be donated. With the company’s consistent year-over-year growth and continuous national expansion, more families in more communities everywhere stand to benefit.
Check back with our website to keep track of this year’s pallet count and learn what good works are on RLS’s plate.