Fight Against Hunger

Fight Against Hunger

Foodbank of the Rockies upgrades security to protect badly-needed food supplies

Food Bank of the Rockies (FBR) is a member of the Feeding America network, which consists of more than 200 food banks and 61,000 agencies that provide sustenance, security and hope to 46.5 million Americans struggling with hunger every year. The Foodbank of the Rockies, located in Denver, Colorado, recently substantially upgraded their security system with an updated 3xLOGIC NVR and new IP megapixel cameras. iCAM Video Management Solutions, Inc., a security integrator, has been instrumental in providing design and installation expertise for FBR since they installed their first security system in 2008.

Nearly 800,000 people in Colorado struggle with hunger. The Food Bank of the Rockies has been leading the fight against hunger throughout Metro Denver, rural Colorado, the Western Slope and in Wyoming for the past 36 years. FBR has provided more than 519 million meals to people in need since inception. Each year, the food bank procures and distributes food through direct service programs and in cooperation with 600 partner agencies, enough to provide more than 119,000 meals each day.

In 2015, FBR embarked on a renovation project to their main facility in Denver. This is necessary to meet the food distribution needs of the community FBR serves. Ten years ago, no one could have predicted the hit the US economy would take and the tremendous strain it would put on the food banking system.

“This renovation will increase our food distribution capacity by about half, allowing us to distribute 56 million-plus meals to the food insecure,” explained Tony Alexis, Chief Operations Officer, Food Bank of the Rockies. “As part of this project, we are upgrading our security system to be a more effective participant in the Food and Drug Administration and American Institute of Baking food defense strategy. We will accomplish this important objective by having more and higher quality cameras, and by better controlling access for the many people who come through our doors.”

Food Bank Challenges

Prior to the current upgrade, FBR’s sevenyear old video system was comprised of 30 analog and two 360-degree view IP cameras, and an older-model DVR. “We were experiencing some shrinkage here and there. We also handle government commodities for which the officials wanted us to demonstrate stronger security in order to meet contractual obligations,” commented Alexis.

Alexis recounted how the older system was effective in catching some of the volunteers and customers taking things they should not have. It also recorded a few truck accidents in the yard, and helped disprove someone’s claim of an “accident” while on FBR property. However, as time went on it was clear that camera coverage and video quality were lacking, and FBR knew they needed to do better. “We’ll continue to look for shrinkage but now with greater image clarity, and we can put evidence on a DVD. We have lots of volunteers at our site. We rely on volunteers, but it’s hard to find good volunteer help. Also, some are court-ordered, and we need to more effectively monitor them.

“Our upgraded facility will now be 121,000 square feet. The new system will give us the coverage we need and enable us to watch incidents much more closely. With this expanded coverage we’ll be able to see what we have to be able see to meet our obligations and better manage operations.” Improved Video Quality for

More Timely Actions

FBR’s upgraded video surveillance system will total an eventual 64 cameras—doubling the current camera number. “One dollar is worth four meals, so when we have shrink or loss or an accident, we’re taking meals away from needy people,” said Alexis. “We’re very serious about controlling expenses. We have a lot of food, a lot of different volunteers in here every day, and forklifts constantly in action. A simple mistake on a forklift can cost $200 or more, and a major incident can easily cost us the capacity to provide thousands of meals. However when something happens, the answer is often ‘no one did it.’ Now, with better video quality and coverage, we’ll be able to catch those mistakes and accidents, and then we can implement better training and supervision, or take other actions to ensure high quality work practices that will reduce our expenses and losses.”

Installation of New Video Surveillance System

As part of a commitment to their community, 3xLOGIC donated their V7300 Series NVR Appliance pre-configured with VIGIL VMS software for FBR’s upgraded video surveillance system. Lynn Lowman, of iCAM, has been involved with FBR for nearly eight years. Lynn assisted FBR staff to secure an initial grant for their first security system. Lynn and iCam provided consulting and installation expertise to keep the system in top shape.

Lowman encouraged FBR to contact 3xLOGIC to ask for partial support in securing equipment for the current project upgrade. For this project phase, he provided design and installation of the newlyupgraded system with IP cameras, as well as retaining the legacy analog cameras. The new IP cameras, purchased by FBR are mainly 3xLOGIC VISIX 3-megapixel cameras, along with a 20-megapixel, 180-degree Arecont Vision IP camera. The 3xLOGIC hybrid NVR supports both IP and analog cameras, helping to ensure that FBR can protect their investment, while giving them the flexibility to upgrade as new needs arise and budget becomes available.

For more information, visit http://www. foodbankrockies.org/ and http://www.feedingamerica. org/

This article originally appeared in the October 2015 issue of Security Today.

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