Using Lean 5S and Kaizen to Feed the Homeless

image from wikipedia

I read an inspiring post today by Robert Hafey on the Lean Safety blog about his attempts to apply his lean training and expertise to something as basic as cooking food and serving it to a large group of people, but, the best part of the article wasn’t the lean angle.

It was who he was serving.

He and six other close friends and family cooked and served a salad, entree and dessert to 70 homeless people.

I don’t know Hafey’s motive for doing this – whether  he is religious and trying to “live his faith,” or whether this was strictly about a small band of altruistic people trying to help their fellow humans gain some nourishment and dignity by offering them a healthy, deliciously home-cooked meal, but I think all of us need to read more stories like this to counteract the swelling cynicism and self-absorption that plays such a prevalent role in our modern society.

I liked to hear the ideas and philosophies of lean and kaizen that Hafey applies to this special instance.  From his restructuring of the serving tables so as to accommodate more people faster and reduce cycle time, to his remembrance throughout his experience that he tried to adhere to one of the pillars of lean, which is “respect for people,” it is nice to hear that lean worked for this case, and that the case was worth the read.

To Read Mr. Hafey’s  “Lean Thinking at the Homeless Shelter”, click here =>


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