15 Years of Working for Hunger Relief!

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February 22, 2017 By: Jens Pinther Category: SHH News

As 2017 marches forth, four Second Harvest Heartland employees are celebrating impressive anniversaries for length of service, ranging from 15 to 29 years. One of those loyal agents for hunger relief is none other than Heidi Yankovec.

Anyone who has met Heidi knows she is a positive, caring person. Around the Second Harvest Heartland office, she brings dedication and love for the work she does.

As the Events Manager, Heidi leads all of Second Harvest Heartland fundraising events, including Vintner Ball (which has raised nearly $1.8 million over 11 years), Stamp Out Hunger (the largest single-day food drive) and Dish: Cuisine for Change (an event that attracts 20+ local chefs and 1,100+ attendees).

When we approached her to tell us a little about her contributions and memories in her 15 years at Second Harvest Heartland, she was noticeably shy. Her humbleness speaks to how she gives and does so fully believing in our mission to end hunger.

Since 2002, Heidi has worn “many hats.” She started as an executive assistant but has also served in donor relations and human resources.

When Heidi first started, the two food banks, Second Harvest Greater Minneapolis and Second Harvest St. Paul, had just merged to become Second Harvest Heartland, and we’ve come a long way since. “We were so small, 74 employees,” Heidi reminisced. “Now we’re more than double that!”

She added with a smile that our volunteer volume was a lot less robust in the early 2000s than it is now (with more than 28,000 strong in 2016!), and sometimes Second Harvest Heartland office staff would pack boxes in the warehouse to keep up with production.

Heidi has seen our meals distributed to families each year grow from around 24 million to 80 million over the last 15 years, and we owe some of that success to Heidi herself.

“From where we came from to where we are, it’s pretty incredible,” Heidi said. “The mission, the staff, are top of the line.”

For Heidi, her work is driven by the values with which she grew up.

“Every time I visited my grandma, she was always trying to give me food,” Heidi said. “I just think it’s one of those things that has always been a part of me.”

Thank you Heidi for 15 years!

If you’re interested in joining us in the fight to end hunger, you can learn how to get involved or check out our careers page.


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