Nonprofit Stories - Master Provisions
Horizon Community Funds of Northern Kentucky is grateful for the many nonprofits that support and strengthen our community. We are actively reaching out to these organizations to listen to their stories in order to share them with you. This is an ongoing project that will cover many organizations across Boone, Campbell, and Kenton counties.
If you know the name and work of Master Provisions (MP), you are likely to be familiar with the face of the organization, Roger Babik. His energy, his passion, and his story are all an experience meant to take place in person. You won’t find his bio online, where he could take credit for founding this 24-year-old organization. Indeed, the history of the organization is represented by a chart of milestones that speaks only to the populations it serves. Nowhere does it mention that Roger quit his high-paying sales job to start a nonprofit at less than half the income with no benefits. And that’s Roger.
Roger’s team at MP is part case management, part logistics operations, and 100 percent faith-based. Trucks of varying sizes and refrigeration capabilities zip to and from the warehouse each week, scooping food from area wholesale distributors and grocers that was previously headed to waste. The food, perfectly fine to consume, is carefully collected, organized, and stored throughout the warehouse. Each day, nonprofit partners arrive on a schedule to browse the selection and take what they need. A small note is repeated throughout the space, gently asking partners to take no more than half of what is there in order to leave some for others.
For food that doesn’t promise to see the hands of a neighbor in need, and is nearing the end of its useful days, MP has partnered with local farmers to sell the food at a small cost to them for their use.
What is MP’s approach to securing enough food to send more than four million pounds out the door each year?
“How can we help you?”
One of MP’s first big business partnerships was the result of them approaching a large bread company and asking how they might work together and reduce the company’s carbon footprint on bread it wasn’t planning to use. Previously, the leftover bread was trucked down to Louisville to make dog food. “We applauded the stewardship in that act,” notes Roger. But MP realized they could be helping the company’s bottom line and giving them the tax write off by simply offering to pick the bread up for distribution through MP to local nonprofits.
MP approaches donors in the same manner. Their goal in generating funds for MP is to ensure the donor is connected to his or her own interests while aligning these passions with the nonprofit’s vision and mission. Even volunteers are treated with thoughtful care. Each day, in the “volunteer retention area”, fresh lunch is served for that day’s volunteers. MP’s staff joins the volunteers for the meal to build even more connectivity.
It’s no wonder Roger and his team value resources as much as they do. The organization isn’t solely dedicated to food distribution. Twenty percent of the organization’s work is involved in intensive international outreach to assist with clothing, farms, sewing shops and care for at-risk children. The other eighty percent revolves around local food distribution, including Last Saturday Isaiah House Outreaches in the communities of Covington and Newport.