Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Second Chance at Second Harvest Heartland Food Shelf

On Thursday, August 8, 2013, several coworkers and I volunteered for a 3-hour shift at the Second Harvest Heartland Food Shelf for our annual employee event. The afternoon consisted of sorting and re-packing food collected from food drives and donations; re-packaging bulk food such as pasta and cereal; and sorting bags of potatoes into consumer size packages for those in need.

I can't remember all the stats, but I do remember them saying one person in ten goes hungry in Minnesota and western Wisconsin. And to think how much I eat, how much we as a country/state/community waste food. They can make a dollar stretch, and with so many causes looking for money, this is one that really can help out a lot of people.

We had about 30 people from our office, but there were two other companies volunteering. Most of us went into the 'clean room', where we donned our lunch lady hairnets and surgical gloves. We started bagging pasta, moved on to bag granola cereal, and finished with bagging rice. Some of our group as well as the other companies bagged potatoes.

In our three hours of work, we roughly filled over 400 pounds of pasta, 500 pounds of cereal, and 800 pounds of rice. I think the potatoes were in the thousand-pound range. In all, we did enough work that would provide over 8,000 meals to families of four.

As a company, we bonded, and I got to learn a bit more about some of my coworkers. It was a great team building event and while we had fun, this activity serves a greater good.

I would do this again in a heartbeat and I highly recommend it to companies, groups of friends, or if you feel like you want to 'pay it forward'.

Pictures say thousands of words. Just look at all these happy volunteers. 
It says it all.


Of course, in our group of bean counters, there are some who don't know how to smile. And look at how some awkwardly pose for pictures. That's never the case for yours truly!
(Click on the picture to view all those happy faces!)

But they say there's one in every crowd. Our office actually has two. Thank goodness for Greg!

Second Harvest and the families who receive assistance from the volunteers are very grateful for the help and the donations. Find a local food shelf today to support your community.

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