As we begin the New Year, the staff at Second Harvest Heartland often takes a moment to reflect on the past year. Our team has accomplished so many things this year to help local children, families and seniors get the food they need, so we asked them—what were your favorite moments of 2014 and what are you looking forward to in 2015? Below are some of their responses.
“Visiting every fresh produce distribution site that our agency partners were running in Minneapolis this past summer. The enthusiasm of the agency’s volunteers, the beauty of the fresh produce that had been donated by local Minnesota farmers, and the gratitude of the community members who were receiving this much-needed fresh food, was overwhelming. It was a sheer pleasure for me to make these visits and witness such a positive contribution to our community.”
– Lisa, agency relations account specialist
“Delivering more than 16,000 pounds of grocery items to a local agency partner. They were short on help, but everyone there did an awesome job of running the product through narrow doors on two-wheelers.”
– Ken, retail food rescue driver
“The KARE11 Food Fight was an amazing event with so many great partners and individuals stepping forward to support our work with food and financial donations. This year we had hoped to at least achieve year one’s success of collecting 860,000 pounds and were unsure of how things were going to come through. I received a call from Mandy Whiteside, manager of strategic partnerships with KARE11, while we were watching the news anchors trailers full of food being unloaded at Second Harvest Heartland. She called me to ask a clarifying question and said she was “shaking right now as we already have 1 million pounds in” and we hadn’t even gotten the totals from the food being unloaded yet! We went on to surpass our goal and raised 1,429,767 pounds which was a Second Harvest Heartland record for a Food & Fund Drive event with a 66 percent increase over the amazing results of last year.”
– Heather, corporate engagement officer
“The Hunger Hero award reception and presentation last May in Golden Valley, where all of the Hunger Hero award winners came together to get to know each other and share how they supported us in the past year. Having partners like General Mills, CH Robinson, Target, Walmart, the Pioneer Press and John Svihel, one of our largest local growers, all in the same room was very energizing and inspiring. I can’t wait for the next event like this!”
– Tony, director of food sourcing
“The produce process that evolved after the launch of NAV13, Second Harvest Heartland’s new warehousing and financial management system. This included daily produce freshness assessment and agency notifications. The emails I received regarding the exceptional quality and quantity of produce and appreciation for the additional communication were very rewarding.”
– Jean, food rescue specialist
“The produce distribution I had the chance to volunteer for in August. This new project was a joint effort with Agency Relations and Volunteer Services for the purpose of helping agencies build capacity for produce distribution in high-volume months. The site, New Millennium Academy (a partner of CAPI), is located just off Broadway in North Minneapolis. The weather was glorious, the produce was of amazing quality, the partner was extremely well-organized, the volunteers were totally energized and the clients loved their produce. On that particular distribution we were able to distribute fresh cabbage, bananas, cucumbers, watermelons and bakery items. It was great to see so many components come together so easily in such a big way….this day give me a chance to see Second Harvest Heartland at its very best!”
– Jessica, director of volunteer services
Thank you to everyone who made this a successful year!
Want to get involved? Visit 2harvest.org for opportunities.