I was fortunate to get a tour of the facility before the event and was amazed at the operation and reach that they have not just here in Minneapolis and St. Paul but our region.
We heard from Rob Zeaske, Executive Director of Second Harvest Heartland, about how with current economic conditions the needs of their organization and others like them are growing by the week.
I want to encourage any company, group or individual who is looking to partner, team up, work with a community organization to consider the people and mission of Second Harvest Heartland.
And the need is significant:
- The fastest growing group of food shelf clients is the working poor. 49% of the families who accessed food shelves in 2004 were working
- Unfortunately, as the economy has worsened in recent months, increased demand at food shelves has resulted in diminishing food reserves.
- The need to support hunger relief in Minnesota is increasingly important. In 2007 there were about 482,000 Minnesotans in poverty, up 60,000 from 2006, and 1.9 million visits to Minnesota food shelves.
- The food shelves SHH works with are reporting that the need for emergency food is up about 50% over last year and rising steadily. And with the cost of everyday food items like milk increasing, these visits will continue to rise.
- For many Minnesotans, hunger is all too real. In fact, one in ten Minnesotans will struggle to have enough food this week. Many are children.
- Despite the fact that SHH distributed 41 million pounds of food last year (an increase of 20% over the previous year), demand is still outpacing supply.
Second Harvest Heartland through their buying power and other partnerships can turn $1 into $9 of food. It is super easy to set up an online donation site through them and you get a report of who donated how much so you can be sure to thank folks for their support.
Personally I want to thank Lindsi Gish for her help who I met at a Social Media Breakfast and who I follow on Twitter. Lindsi and her colleagues made this very easy for us to do and I have already committed that we would do this again leading up to our November 2009 event.
If you would like to do a company fundraiser on behalf of Second Harvest Heartland please contact Heidi Yankovec, Events Manager, firstname.lastname@example.org
So how did we do?
The day of the event 349 pounds of food were donated. If you are thinking, “I wonder how much food that is” think of filling your front seat, back seats, floor and trunk with grocery bags. And then when possible lightly stack bags on top of bags.
After the event we raised $1,120
Here are a few pics:
Take a moment and watch this short video Rob played for us to better understand how Second Harvest Heartland serves our community:
I look forward to working with Rob, Lindsi, Heidi and Second Harvest Heartland this coming November.