11.1 Scooping

Scooping involves the use by the distribution staff of standard scoops, or volume measuring cups, designed for the established ration for a particular commodity. Often old tins are used to manufacture the scoop, by placing the tin on a scale and filling it with commodity up to the weight established for a single registered beneficiary per day. For example, if the ration for maize meal were 400 g per person per day and distributions were conducted every 15 days, then a scoop for maize meal would be manufactured to hold exactly 6 kg of maize meal when filled to the top and levelled off (400 g x 15 days = 6 kg). During distribution, commodities are then scooped into containers brought by the recipients.

  • Horizontal slits are sometimes punched into the scoops at the fill line to prevent over-scooping.
  • Flexible scoops should be avoided, as the sides can be squeezed to reduce the ration.
  • Scoops should be stored in a locked box when not in use.

In some countries, there is an informal system of weights and measures where certain standard containers are the unit of measure in the market place. For example, a standard sized tin or kapok is used in Madagascar, while in Haiti the marmite is used for dry measure and the kola bottle for liquid measure. If local measurements are commonly used and understood, the metric ration should be converted.

Note: Scooping is not effective when the ration scale and the frequency of distribution change over time as this will require continual modification to, or re-manufacturing of scoops.