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Picking With Purpose — Robotic Automation Helps Feed Hungry Families

A letter from Berkshire Grey CEO Tom Wagner about the company’s new program that partners Berkshire Grey robotic automation solutions and employee volunteers with food rescue organizations to get more food to families in need.

BG Team,

Thank you all for your volunteer efforts in working with our robotic systems to pick, sort, and pack 40,000 pounds of donated food into care packages to help feed 4,000 families for Thanksgiving. This is the inaugural activity of our Picking With Purpose Program. Our partners — City Harvest and The Greater Boston Food Bank — are distributing these packages to many people in need.

This is important work.

With one in seven Americans relying on food from food banks and similar organizations, there is a problem to solve and a need to fill. Due to COVID-19, there are even more pressures on these organizations. The demand for food support has increased by approximately 60% while the availability of volunteers has decreased by 50%. More broadly and beyond COVID-19, hunger and food instability should not exist in a country as prosperous as the United States.

Given the persistence of the problem and our ability to help, our goal is to have Picking With Purpose continue and grow. Coupled with your volunteer efforts, we can use our technology to help with surplus food distribution and the reduction of food waste just like we help customers with eCommerce fulfillment, retail resupply, and logistics. To best support this effort, we are actively seeking sponsors and partnerships for food donation, transport of robotically created food care packages, and distribution to those in need. To help share our ideas and build an ecosystem, today we announced the program with the following website and press release:

We hope to make Picking With Purpose an ongoing commitment — making a difference this holiday season and throughout the year.

Thank you again for your support.

— Tom

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