Just When You Thought Fridays Couldn’t Get Any Better


September 24, 2019 By: Tina Mortimer

On a recent Friday morning at Valley Outreach in Stillwater, Minn., a team of Food Rescue volunteers sorted and prepared nearly 5,000 pounds of rescued food for distribution. The food was donated by grocery stores in Woodbury and Oakdale and delivered by Pete Torsch, a Second Harvest Heartland Food Rescue driver.

Torsch does the heavy lifting, rescuing food from grocery stores and other retail outlets five days a week to deliver to food shelves and meal programs. He makes a delivery to Valley Outreach every Friday.

On this Friday, more than 130 people shopped for fresh berries, bagged lettuce, apples, oranges, peppers, potatoes and onions. Clients of Valley Outreach may visit the food shelf once a month—but “Bonus Fridays” give them an opportunity for an additional visit to get fresh produce, bread and other select rescued food items, said Tracy Maki, CEO of Valley Outreach. Maki said the bonus day helps clients stretch their food budgets even further, and the appreciation clients feel is evident from the joy on their faces and the thank-you letters the organization receives. 

“The Bonus Friday program really helps us with [feeding] all the grandkids, all year-round, especially during summer months,” said Janet*, a regular visitor to the food shelf. “Thank you for your dedication to our beautiful community.”

Second Harvest Heartland’s Retail Food Rescue Program offers a smart solution to ending hunger by partnering with nearly 500 retail grocers in our communities to divert food being removed from their store shelves to feed hungry people. 

Partner like Valley Outreach, we make a powerful difference for families who are struggling, but there is more work to be done.

The Time to Act is Now

September is Hunger Action Month and your opportunity to participate in the fight to end hunger. With your support, we’ll be able to help more people like Janet and her grandkids through tough times.

Please donateFor every $1 donated, Second Harvest Heartland can provide up to three meals for our neighbors in need. Donations made in September will be matched by a group of generous donors, up to $50,000.

*Name changed to protect client’s anonymity.


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