Feeding America recently released benchmarking data for all food banks across the country. Included in the dataset was an employee engagements score and an employee retention score. Unsurprisingly, the San Francisco Marin Food Bank did very poorly and this reflects the mismanagement by the leadership team that led to our decision to unionize.
In 2019, a year after the new COO was installed and their ill-conceived decisions and changes took root, the food bank lost 1/3rd of its entire staff. That employee retention is significant for an organization that is slightly about 140 people. So many community relationships were severed permanently as a result, the organization lost a lot of institutional knowledge, and the turmoil has stressed our ability to serve the community. To what end does the leadership team think that their restructuring and firing employees is a net positive for the community?
According to the Feeding America Employee Engagement Scores (EES), the food bank is now one of the worst scoring food banks in the entire food bank network. The EES has a maximum score of 6.0 and since 2016, the food bank has scored above median (4.985) and has placed it in the 80th percentile. The scores are:
2016 = 5.16
2017 = 5.06
2018 = 5.05
However, in 2019, the employee engagement score dropped to 4.67, which makes the San Francisco Marin Food Bank 12th last in the entire network. This places us in the 5th percentile.
Yes, the employees at the San Francisco Marin Food Bank had good reason to unionize. Our contract will give hope to food bankers that believe strongly in the mission and it will give them a platform to create unimaginable social progress in The Bay Area communities they serve. Our union will restore decency and professionalism that has been lost in the organization.