Sharing the Bounty on Thanksgiving

December 4, 2009 By: Second Harvest Heartland Guest Writer Category: WordPress Import

This year, as Thanksgiving approached, I was decidedly thankful. For me and my household, 2009 was a bountiful year by any objective measure. However, both from my own circles as well as from news story after news story about the economy, it is painfully clear that the same was not true for many in MN and beyond.

So, when I as pushing my cart through the aisles of the grocery store, filling the cart with food for that one day, I couldn’t help but think about the statistic that impressed me most about Second Harvest Heartland when I first heard about the organization: that they turn every dollar donated into $9 worth of food to distribute.

Looking at my cart full of food (somewhere in the baking aisle), I came to a snap decision. For every dollar spent for my family gathering from the good year I had, I’d donate a matching dollar to Second Harvest, which they turn into nine dollars to help those who had more difficulty this year.

Once I decided, I’m fairly certain I started adding food to my cart with nearly reckless abandon. While I was feeding a fairly large group and for most of the day (not just the big meal), I was still startled when my cashier told me my total: $305.

However, I’m fairly certain she was even more startled when I grinned as I pulled out my wallet. I explained my plan to her as well as the 9:1 ratio from Second Harvest. As the giant receipt printed, she said she’d be telling other customers about the idea.

Over the next couple of days, I shared the idea with people over Twitter and in person. A few told me that they would join me on a different ratio or just giving a fixed donation and one quietly shared that their sister was actually someone who needed the help of a food shelf this year.

Earlier this week, I rounded my grocery bill up to $350 and made my donation. Based on that amazing ratio, Second Harvest will be able to distribute $3150 in food. After reflecting on the experience, I’m going to be doing this every Thanksgiving. Will you join me next year?

J Wynia
Minneapolis, MN


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