Sunday, April 11, 2010

A look at Loaves & Fishes' stats

NOTE THIS IS A WORK IN PROGRESS, TO BE FINALIZED IN A COUPLE DAYS.

Below a lengthy table that looks at the statistics on Loaves & Fishes' 2009 Annual Report, contrasted to stats from the 2007 and 2008 reports, with my comments and further interesting related numbers I was able to compute from the reports and from the public Form 990s L&F is required to file by mid-May every year, reporting on the prior calendar/fiscal-year's financials. [Does that make sense? That was one very long sentence.]

Loaves & Fishes trots out some big numbers as metrics, but there's no context, nor explanation given to provide readers with a sense of their significance. Frankly, it is "typical L&F":  A wall of balderdash to impress potential donors without really informing them.  In typical fashion, Loaves & Fishes disrespects its donors:  "Just hand over the loot and don't ask any penetrating questions."

You can tell that Loaves & Fishes doesn't take any care in publishing their metrics.  While many employees are likely to have expended a lot of time with counts and collections to create careful data, no care is taken to see if the numbers are understandable or reasonable.  As you can see from the table below, some 2008 numbers 'aren't real'; they are just repeats of the 2007 numbers. Other numbers just seem to be increased a little year after year. The pounds of food the warehouse receives should be 'tested for reasonableness' by asking questions and seeing that individuals aren't given five pounds of food on their foodtrays.

I've never seen people going into the Park library being counted.  Isn't that just some mad concoction pulled out of a hat? If it's not a precise count, but a count done for a period of time and then extrapolated, that background information should be provided.

Really, I am only suggesting that one responsible person sit down with the numbers and spend one lousy stinking hour to verify them for reasonableness.  And that there be one senior administrator that was responsible for something, instead of everybody not being responsible for anything.

 Asterisks [*] indicate MY intrusive information.

Volunteer Placement and Orientation
2007
2008
2009
SacHo comment
Attendance at Thur. orientations
520
750
1473
Attendance at first-Sat-of-month orientations
84
110
200
* Total attendance at orientations
604
860
1673
 up 95% this year.  No explanation offered for whopping increase.
Folks who volunteered
3564
3880
4140
This most likely means instances of volunteering, as opposed to what it  says, "people ... who volunteered."
* Volunteers per day
9.8
10.6
11.4
Advocacy Action Group
2007
2008
2009
SacHo comment
Number of community members
2200
2200
2892
Does 'community' mean the homeless community? This is something homeless people can have signed up for without knowing they are being claimed as supporters of whatever L&F is doing. The Greater Sacramento community? This could just mean subscribers to a newsletter. Dunno.
Dining room
2007
2008
2009
SacHo comment
Aggregate count of instances of a person being fed
159,185
177,867
175,755
aka, number of meals prepared. Does this include staff meals? Don't know.  Does this exclude instances when outsiders prepare the L&F lunch.  Don't know.
* Days serving lunch that year
364
365
364
Every day except Thanksgiving (when there is a huge meal served at the nearby Salvation Army). 2008 was a leap year.
* Average served each day
437
487
483
I would have expected 600 or more.   Perhaps it's the case that ~20% of people getting a lunch ticket don't use theirs. I don't use mine ~ 30% of the time.
Friendship Park [& Wash House]
2007
2008
2009
SacHo comment
FP Library visits
38,127
39,538
39,341
Curious thing: the 2007, 2008, 2009 reports all call the library "full service." Oh, yeah? That's not even so by 1963 standards. Books cannot be checked out and most never get taken off the shelf year after year after year.
* Average per day [est. open 250 days/year]
153
158
157
Memorial services for fallen FP denizens
19
26
27
Day labor referrals
1877
1558
1590
Perhaps the recovery, when California joins in, will greatly pump up this stat in 2010.  Employers are skitish about hiring permanent employees but will hire temporary ones.
Men's Wash House: Instances of providing laundry service
3185
*12.7 /day
3250
*13.0/day
3120
*12.5/day
I'm not sure about 2007, but in the past couple years "laundry lotto" is the means by which L&F does men's laundry. [Per-day computation assumes lotto was done 250 times each year.]
Men's Wash House: Showers provided
35,484
*142/day
35,780
*143/day
34,475
*138/day
[Per-day computation assumes the Wash House was open 250 days each year.]
Genesis Mental Health
2007
2008
2009
SacHo comment
Instances of assessments, counselling and referals
4438
5488
5532
Guest Health Outreach
2007
2008
2009
SacHo comment
Triage
7,952
8,752
10,280
TB Testing
130
218
315
I don't understand these figures at all.  TB tests for TB cards had been given at a clinic on C St., then that function was moved to Mercy on North C in 2009.  I don't think this is something L&F has its hand in - but I could be wrong.
Blood Pressure tests
713
653
884
Blood sugar tests
443
476
689
People attending health fair and taking classes
540
No such data for '08 or '09.
Jail Visitation
2007
2008
2009
SacHo comment
Instances of service to Sac'to jail inmates
4958
4958
5010
Same numbers in '08 as in '07?
Letters sent to courts or attorneys
4413
4413
4560
Personal toiletry kits given to released jailees
804
804
600
Bus passes given (to just-released jailees?)
503
503
550
Maryhouse
2007
2008
2009
SacHo comment
Instances of services provided [W=women F=fathers C=children]
W 1575
F       6
C   978
1429
3
945
1619
9
927
Weekday breakfasts served
19,536
*78/day
21,578
*86/day
24,571
*98/day
Per-day computation assumes 250 days of service/yr.
Showers
12,279
12,082
11,681
Supplies dispensed
6,070
5198
5409
[eg, diapers, formula, personal hygene]
"Adopt-a-family"
136 fam
(404 ch'n)
127 fam
(366 ch'n)
104 fam
(296 ch'n)
Matches volunteers with families that need assistance during Christmastime.
Mustard Seed School
2007
2008
2009
SacHo comment
Children
162
145
146
Ages 3 to 15.
Pupil days
3926
*24 ave
2726
*19 ave
3569
*24 ave
Average for children is 4 or 5 weeks of school. A little over a month.
Children returned to public schools
57
37
49
Medical & Dental visits arranged for children.
8 m.
91 d.
8 m.
21 d.
23 m.
41 d.
Sister Nora's Place
2007
2008
2009
SacHo comment
Women given shelter, meals and case management.
31
25
30
Warehouse/Procurement
2007
2008
2009
SacHo comment
Pounds of food received
25,000 in year 2007
25,000 in year 2008
14,157 per week
What!? 14,157 lb. per week equals about 707,800 lb. in 2009
From USDA
1%
2%
49%
No explanation provided as to why more food was suddenly from USDA and less from food banks in 2009.
From food banks
85%
85%
42%
From private companies
10%
10%
9%
A percentage combining "from private companies" and "donations from the general public" was given in 2009.
Donations from the general public
4%
3%

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