Posts Tagged ‘apple picking’

Totino-Grace High School helps pick apples for those in need

Tuesday, October 13th, 2009
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Yesterday, we received an email from Andrew Blake, volunteer coordinator at Totino-Grace High School, who came to Irish Mountain Orchard this past weekend and volunteered with his wife and some students. “We found out about the opportunity in an e-newsletter from Second Harvest, and our school is always looking for new service opportunities,” Andrew said. “This was a homecoming service project for us, so my students were up the night before until probably 1:00 am coming home from the school dance or somebody’s house after the football game. We came from Fridley, MN so I had them come to school at 6:45 in the morning. Needless to say, they didn’t get a lot of rest the night before!”

Every year in Minnesota alone, an estimated 224 million pounds of unused food goes to waste. It’s the goal of Second Harvest Heartland and participating Minnesota Orchards to glean as many nutritious apples as possible before the winter freeze, and deliver them to the hungry families, children and seniors who need them most. With the dedication of volunteers like Andrew and his students, we hope to collect even more fresh apples from Minnesota orchards than we did last year–more than 200,000 pounds.

“As we were making the collection boxes, we couldn’t believe we would need that many. Of course once we started collecting apples, the group working boxes could hardly keep them coming fast enough,” Andrew continued. “I think one of my favorite parts of the whole thing was knowing that each apple would get to a family. For awhile, with each apple I picked I tried to imagine a kid who would get that apple at home or at school in their lunch. I even tried to say a small blessing over each one until I realized it was slowing me down as so I stopped praying and started picking faster!”

All of us at Second Harvest Heartland extend a hearfelt “thanks” to the students at Totino-Grace and all other volunteers who have helped with the apple gleaning initiative this fall. Your efforts are incredibly important, and we couldn’t do this work without your help.

Know that families, children and seniors in our community are enjoying the “fruits of your labor”–literally–and giving thanks for your generosity and hard work.


If you would like to learn more about how you can get involved with the volunteer program at Second Harvest Heartland, please click here. Simply fill out the short form, and someone will get back to you!

120 individuals, 61,000 pounds of fresh apples for the hungry

Wednesday, November 5th, 2008

Over the last month or so, we’ve had some great response to a couple last-minute volunteer opportunities. More than 120 volunteers, staff, truck drivers and others stepped up to help us harvest apples from nearby orchards. With their help, we’ve been able to glean over 61,000 pounds of fresh apples to be distributed to those in need.

We are so inspired by everyone who has volunteered their time and energy, and we wanted to take this opportunity to share some of the feedback we’ve received from volunteers.

“I wanted to let you know that the recent apple picking effort for 2nd Harvest at Apple Jacks was a great idea. I brought my whole family to help out. It was a great cause and we all had a great time picking the apples as well. I think this is a great way to get younger people like my two boys involved. It is a great idea to get some of this fresh produce to people that are going hungry. Otherwise the apples would have gone wasted. I happened to run into the owner of the apple farm, Jack. He was so pleased that we were out there and making good use out of his apple harvest. I believe there has to be other businesses that would also like to donate fresh produce like this to the hungry families in MN. Keep up the great work and let me know when there are other opportunities to help.” – Tom and Nancy Lego

“We had a great time picking apples for Second Harvest today. It was a great idea. How generous of the orchard. We felt it was a terrific family activity. Our kids really enjoyed it even though they were working hard and it was a great learning experience. Our kids are only 7 and 9 years old yet they were able to pick a substantial amount of apples.
I explained to them how we always donate to the food shelf but the value of the apples we picked was so much more than we could ever afford to give monetarily. Thanks for the opportunity.” – Beth Breiter

“Just wanted to say what a great morning we had at Dassel Hillside Farm. It is good to know there are caring people like Carl and his wife to donate apples from their crop to Second Harvest. I will admit that we are a little sore, need to teach the left hand to pick next time!  I can guarantee we are 100% glad we went!” -Ann and Mark Hall

“I didn’t know what to expect when we got there. There were a ton of apples to be picked. We had eight apple trees as kids, but picking apples at Hillside was more fun than I remembered. We talked and laughed and enjoyed the sunshine all while doing something that will help feed others.” – Kathy Michaelson

“My sister Ann and I had a fabulous time picking apples yesterday – and knowing they are going to good use. As farmer’s daughters, we were taught to never waste. Part of our values. Thank you for arranging for us – and others – to participate in service – and to walk my path to peace.” – Julie Rogers Bascom

“I want to thank you for providing the opportunity to further help Second Harvest Heartland. Money is the easy gift. The harder gift is volunteering your time. The time spent that Saturday was extremely fullfilling. And it was fun. I was more than happy to carpool with other volunteers for a very rewarding day.
If you have a need for further volunteers to help out, please contact me via your email list.
Thank you again for the opportunity to help others.” – Richard Sollberger

This is just some of the wonderful feedback we’ve received from volunteers. We want to personally thank everyone who has spent their Saturday mornings and afternoons helping us to achieve this terrific feat. These 61,000 pounds of apples will be provide much-needed healthy, free food to those in need in our community, and we couldn’t do this important work without your support.

Thanks so much!

Dennie – Volunteer Manager
Tim – Volunteer Coordinator
Jerry – Food Resource

(Update 11/11/08 – View pictures here!)