When I’m home for holidays and my family asks me how things are going, I usually say, “we’re busy. I have a lot of projects going on right now…”. But, in the spirit of Thanksgiving, I want to be very clear today about what I do, why I go to work each day with a sense of purpose and express my gratitude for our community members who are confronting tough times in our neighborhoods.
I am very proud of our work with Second Harvest Heartland, one of America’s largest food banks. As Project Coordinator, I helped relocate operations from Maplewood, Minnesota to their new facility in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota. Between Fall 2019 and Spring 2020, my colleague, Jerry Fredrickson, designed and built out High-Density Rack Systems for their freezers / coolers and Selective Rack for the dry goods areas. During the earliest days of the COVID-19 lockdowns, we erected the High-Density systems in Brooklyn Park and hauled truckloads of Maplewood’s selective rack to reconfigure and reassemble in Brooklyn Park. Second Harvest was able to serve their existing clients and an unexpected surge of 30% additional clients throughout this whole buildout.
This rack project was critical because this is the warehouse that distributes food to thousands of households experiencing food instability (many for the first time because of lost wages in 2020 and 2021). These aren’t just families in the Twin Cities. We are talking about 59 counties in Minnesota and Western Wisconsin. This foodbank is centralizing and re-distributing food to where it’s needed: nearly 1,000 food shelves and meal programs in your hometowns.
This past week my friends and I with The Give Back Crew returned to Brooklyn Park to pack produce as volunteers on Give to the Max Day on November 18th. I’m so grateful to do this work and continue to support Second Harvest Heartland’s mission. On the 18th, we were able to pack over 30,000 pounds of food which equates to around 20,000+ meals for those fighting food insecurity. If you’re looking to make a positive impact and help fight hunger this Thanksgiving season consider donating here!