Materials handling comes to the Food Network (Well, sort of)

Giada De Laurentiis plans to visit the Applied Technology Center in Rock Hill

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How cool is materials handling? So cool that Food Network star Giada De Laurentiis plans to visit the Applied Technology Center in Rock Hill, SC, where high school students are learning warehousing and distribution basics. Heck, it’s so cool I learned about Giada’s visit on Balanced Fork, Healthy Life, a food blog (Full disclosure - that’s a totally gratuitous plug. The blog is written by Lauren Forger, daughter of our former editorial director, but it’s a good read and I wanted to give her a shout out).

Now that I’ve made you all feel like your kids will no longer be embarrassed when they explain what their parents do for a living, truth is that Giada is bringing her film crew to the Applied Technology Center to learn more about Back the Pack, a program I wrote about back in December.

Sue Kutz, the driving force behind the program, was named one of L’Oreal Paris’ 10 Women of Worth, which spotlights tireless advocates for service and change in their communities. The program identifies elementary and middle school children who go hungry at home and discretely fills their backpacks with nonperishable foods to get them through the weekend.

The materials handling connection? Students in the warehousing and distribution center receive and putaway the donated food items and then use the center’s order fulfillment systems to pick and pack the food that will go into backpacks.

“I have a new insight and deep respect for the importance that distribution plays in delivering the product to the end user and in this case it’s a hungry child,” Kutz told me last December. “And I think it’s great that the kids are learning about warehouse distribution, and they’re also learning about community service too.”

It’s great to see our industry involved in programs like this and making a difference. Let’s hope that Giada asks a question or two about the importance of horizontal carousels, bar code scanning and conveyors as she’s putting her report together.

About the Author

Bob Trebilcock
Bob Trebilcock, editorial director, has covered materials handling, technology, logistics and supply chain topics for nearly 30 years. In addition to Supply Chain Management Review, he is also Executive Editor of Modern Materials Handling. A graduate of Bowling Green State University, Trebilcock lives in Keene, NH. He can be reached at 603-357-0484.

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