Our volunteer leaders love visiting Hidden Pines Ranch in Stillwater, MN, for the annual meal-packing adventure – and for good reason! These happy campers are filled with enthusiasm to serve neighbors in need. They may be small, but their hearts are big, and their energy is boundless. And they sure didn’t let a little rain or some of the hottest days of summer slow them down. In just two days of packing, they packed over 32,000 meals for local food shelves in Minnesota. Thanks, Hidden Pines Ranch! We’ll see you next year!
Meet Leo DeCorsey and his grandsons Jackson and Nicholas. After retiring in 2020 from Andersen Windows & Doors, Leo started volunteering at Meals From The Heart in 2021. Inspired by his grandfather, Nicholas decided to collect money for hungry kids and gave it to Leo to donate to Meals From The Heart. Not wanting to miss an opportunity to develop the next generation of volunteers, Tom invited Nicholas and his brother to see the whole operation firsthand. They were outfitted in the appropriate volunteer leader attire and joined their grandfather in packing food boxes for needy families.
Earlier this summer a small army of Meals From The Heart volunteer team leaders traveled to three different Medtronic locations to facilitate their popular ThrowdownTM competitive meal-packing events. The locations included the Operational Headquarters in Minneapolis as well as the Rice Creek and Mounds View facilities. Every June, these events align with Medtronic’s Project 6 initiative, a global volunteerism effort in which all employees are encouraged to give back to the communities in which they live.
Long Island Lutheran High School (LuHi) hosted its first meal-packing event with Meals From The Heart in 2011. Since then, just about every year LuHi students, faculty, and staff, with the help of other local schools, community groups, and association congregations, packed about 300,000 meals, many of which went directly to food shelves and food pantries in Long Island.
When Deluxe realized how much impact their meal-packing event would have, they asked us to include more of their team. Of course, we said, “No problem.” When they mentioned that their teams were spread across the county, we again said, “No problem.” Then we went to work to make it happen. We hit the road after a little logistical planning (okay, a lot of logistical planning)! Four days in four cities in four states and hundreds of smiling faces later, it was a Roadshow to remember!
Say “Hi” to Joel Hansen. A native of Stillwater, Joel joined the Meals From The Heart team just a couple of months ago, and he’s already an integral member of the crew! Joel has an MSW from the University of St. Thomas with a focus on clinical practice. Before Meals From The Heart, he spent 18 years as a child and adolescent mental health therapist working with nonprofit organizations throughout the metro providing direct care to children and their families.