July 3, 2018 – Feeding Children Everywhere, a national non-profit dedicated to providing healthy meals to those in need and creating a hunger-free world, is pioneering the use of artificial intelligence (AI) to increase the numbers of hungry people it can feed.
“There are a few non-profits that are using AI to improve their fundraising efforts and to combat fraud,” said David Green, CEO of FCE. “But, we don’t know of any that are using AI to help directly with their core mission. We hope to lead the way.”
FCE is using the AI technology, Foxtrot from EnableSoft, with its Fed40 program that provides 40 free meals to applicants who qualify. FCE is able to automatically approve many of the applications on basic criteria alone. But, other applications are complicated and require a case manager for review prior to approval. Through the use of a combination of AI and other technology, FCE has been able to dramatically increase the number of applications that are approved without involving a case manager. Without AI, FCE would have to hire several additional case managers diverting money that might have funded more meals into staffing. It has resulted in a 50 percent increase of total meal requests reviewed and approved, or 200,000 additional meals in the next 12 months.
The idea to use AI began during an industry conference where Green was asked by the IT leader of another organization what FCE was doing to use technology to fight hunger. Green said he didn’t have a good answer, but the question seemed impossible to forget. He shortly thereafter read an article posted on social media by Richard Milam, the CEO of EnableSoft, an Orlando-based pioneer in the field of robotic process automation. It made him think a combination of AI and RPA might be the answer to the question that had been perplexing him. Utilizing this combination would lead to a faster approval process and automated processing of the approvals. An FCE board member connected him with Milam, who immediately was interested in helping.
“Since we started, EnableSoft has made giving back a priority, especially to organizations whose mission it is to serve the underserved and marginally employed. We know that helping our community not only is the right thing to do, it also is the smart thing to do. When presented with the challenge facing FCE, we knew we had the solution with the quickest return on time and treasure invested and were thrilled to engage,” said Milam.
Green said FCE is reviewing other internal processes to look for additional areas that could help the organization continue to grow without having to divert more funding for food into staffing.
“The more efficient we can be, the more money goes into programs providing critical food to individuals and families in need,” Green said. “AI is directly helping us do that.”