Entire Second Harvest Heartland Staff Takes a Pause, Volunteers All Morning
Every Spring, Second Harvest Heartland staff members pause from their work for just one day to get together as an entire organization to refocus and remind one another why we do what we do. In years past, partners and community leaders have presented their work and we’ve heard directly about how hunger affects so many areas of people’s lives.
This year, instead of inviting community leaders to our campus, we went to them.
About 150 Second Harvest Heartland employees spread out across the metro to volunteer with 14 of our partner food shelves and food pantries. We gave our time to these dedicated partners, doing whatever was needed, from sorting foods to helping tend to community gardens (in the rain!). It was an honor and a privilege to work with people who are feeding our hungry neighbors every single day.
Katie Bull, Food Rescue Specialist and Team Lead during the all-staff volunteering, found significant value in the morning portion of the day. “The staff at Waite House was welcoming and informative and really appreciated our help with their ‘spring cleaning,’” Katie said. “The morning went quickly as we spread out across Waite House, got our hands dirty and learned about the exciting work happening in the community.”
After lunch, we assembled at our Golden Valley warehouse location and Penumbra Theatre conducted workshops for us. The focus in the afternoon was on our organization’s fifth core value—We believe our differences make us stronger.
For Second Harvest Heartland, there is nothing more important than meeting clients where they are at in life to serve our neighbors in the best ways we can. A critical component to this is understanding and welcoming differences among the people in our community. Ultimately, the diverse perspectives and life experiences everyone brings to the table make us so much stronger than if we were all the same.
Penumbra Theatre sent a few of their talented presenters and actors to work with us about identities and differing life experiences we come across daily in the scope of our work. They shared invaluable insight and we are grateful for their time.
“The afternoon workshop from Penumbra was very impactful to me,” Katie said. “I think it is just the beginning of a lot of conversations we’ll be having around Second Harvest Heartland.”
After ending last week on a motivational note, we are back at it this week, refreshed and reminded why we fight so hard to end hunger.