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When it comes to implementing meal-packing events, Meals From The Heart is a well-oiled machine. From set-up to clean-up, our dedicated team of volunteers transform spaces into meal-packing factories – organizing the packers, stocking ingredients, keeping the lines moving, and ultimately delivering boxes of packed meals to local food shelves.
At Meals From The Heart, we also are always looking for fun, new ways to combat the severe issue of hunger in our communities. So, when we started organizing meal-packing events at area businesses and corporations, we quickly saw an opportunity to up our game. That’s when we designed a meal-packing event specifically for employee groups – ideal for team building, boosting morale, and strengthening relationships.
Meals From The Heart has partnered with “Beyond The Yellow Ribbon” and MACV (Minnesota Assistance Council for Veterans) to help veterans, active military veterans, and their families stretch their food budget through our Food Box Program. This program provides pre-packed food boxes filled with a selection of familiar and quality grocery items at substantial savings.
The Beyond the Yellow Ribbon Campaign facilitated by the Minnesota National Guard provides a network of support for military members, veterans, and their families before, during, and after deployment.
Little did I know that serving others could bring so much fulfillment as I have had in helping to pack and deliver Food Boxes to families working hard to stretch their food budgets.
You know you are doing something worthwhile when you are met anxiously at the front door of a senior living facility by one of its residents “who saw us pull into the parking lot and came down to open the door as the caretaker was encumbered by a bad leg” and then chatted us up about how thankful she was for the food and even more so to have it delivered. We had similar reactions from each of the residents we delivered to that day.
(Photo: Volunteers from Old National Bank pack Food Boxes)
Even with hope shining on the horizon, the need for healthy meals continues to grow as families wrestle with a perpetual state of “new normal.” As many as 13% of Minnesota’s total population are food insecure or don’t have access to enough food.
A year ago, it would have been impossible to imagine what life is like today. So much of what was routine has become a bizarre “new normal” – from work and school to shopping and socializing.
As the pandemic slogs into another year, like so many individuals, businesses, and organizations, we’ve had to pivot to accommodate these unimaginable times. But at Meals From The Heart, we think on our feet and keep on our toes, so making this pivot is just another step to fulfill our mission of helping our neighbors. With meal-packing events greatly diminished due to safety and distancing guidelines, we know we had to find new ways to continue our mission and help those in need.
Check out this note from Commander Tim Harris of Washington County Sheriff’s Office. It really illustrates the incredible impact that donations, volunteers, and our new Food Box Program are making in the community.
Launched late last year to help families who continue to struggle with food insecurity, our Meals From The Heart Food Box Program is doing more than simply bridging food budget gaps. It’s also creating bridges in the community and helping people connect in new ways – in spite of ongoing pandemic restrictions.