Heritage Exteriors and Restoration Inc. Teams Up With Meals From The Heart To Provide Nearly 5,000 Meals To Central Minnesota Families.
Demand at local food shelves is skyrocketing during the current health crisis. A local company, Heritage Exteriors & Restoration, that provides Minnesota with roofing, siding, and gutter solutions, is now expanding its services to helping keep local food shelves stocked in Central Minnesota. Based in Spicer, Minnesota, owners Jason Quade and Keith Palmquist, like the rest of the world, have never experienced anything like what we’re all going through now.
“We have the resources and connections,” stated Palmquist. “We see every day on the news the long lines at food shelves, and we know we could help.”
This crisis has seen many, many families abruptly lose their income, and it’s putting a severe strain on household budgets. Food shelves are seeing numerous new faces daily due to this sudden rise in food insecurity.
The USDA defines food insecurity as the lack of access, at times, to enough food for all household members. Food-insecure households are not necessarily food insecure all the time and may reflect a household’s need to make trade-offs between important basic needs, such as housing or medical bills, and purchasing nutritionally adequate foods.
According to Feeding America, in 2017, more than one in 10 people in Stearns County alone were food insecure. Today, the numbers are growing too fast to count accurately.
Quade’s sister, Nichole Mulvehill, works at Meals From The Heart, a non-profit organization based in Oak Park Heights, that facilitates meal-packing events specifically for local food shelves. Over coffee one morning, they were discussing the topic dominating most conversations these days, and the idea of teaming up to help food shelves came up. Jason and Nichole both grew up with an understanding of the importance of giving back to their community.
“It was a really quick decision,” said Quade. “We put together a plan and decided to make it a family affair!”
Mulvehill added, “Often when folks think about a meal-packing organization, a link is made to the global starvation entities that ship their food overseas. Meals From The Heart is different.”
Meals From The Heart meal-packing events and meals are specifically designed for local food shelves and American families. Their events are designed for local groups and businesses to engage and serve their neighbors, and their meals focus on both nutrition and flavor. In fact, the recipes were developed by a local chef. Meals are packed in full-color stand-up pouches at the request of food shelf partners so that they display properly for our neighbors to have a respectful shopping experience.
“At Meals From The Heart, we don’t care if mom and dad shop at the local grocer or the local food shelf,” Mulvehill continued. “Regardless, they should have a respectful experience and access to a variety of good-tasting and nutritious food.”
Through a partnership with the “Brooten Cares” initiative, Heritage Exteriors & Restoration with help from Meals From The Heart were able to put 4,800 meals on local food shelves, including the BBE Food Shelf, The Link in New London, and the Kandiyohi County Food Shelf in Willmar, MN.