Partners in Hunger Relief

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March 7, 2019 By: Tina Mortimer Category: Partner News

Much like Second Harvest Heartland, Cummins Inc., a company that designs, manufactures, and distributes engines, filtration, and power generation products, wants to find new and innovative ways to help the hungry neighbors in our communities and create a better, more sustainable future. It’s why, since 2016, we’ve partnered with Cummins. While the partnership began as a volunteer opportunity for Cummins employees, it has since grown into much more.

Last year, Second Harvest Heartland spent time with Cummins’ Distribution Leadership Team to brainstorm ideas for future food distribution models.

Callie Koeniger, senior corporate responsibility specialist for Cummins Sales and Service in White Bear Lake, Minn., described this valuable work.

“Driver shortages have hit many industries hard, but it is especially difficult to see this negatively impacting the hunger-relief sector,” she said. “Our work with Second Harvest Heartland is ongoing, but we hope it will lead to valuable changes that help Second Harvest Heartland run more sustainably and serve our communities even better in the future.”

Bob Branham, Second Harvest Heartland’s director of produce strategy, describes the partnership as invaluable.

“The opportunity to work with the Cummins teams proved to be a terrific learning experience for Second Harvest Heartland as we work to design a distribution system for the next 20 years of hunger relief,” he said. “Having another industry listen to our challenges and provide feedback and new thinking to our long-term issues was invaluable.”

As a result of this work, Cummins recently recognized Second Harvest Heartland as its 2018 Community Partner of the Year.

“Cummins employees have volunteered with Second Harvest Heartland since at least 2016, but the partnership really expanded in 2018, Koeniger said. “Cummins employees started volunteering at the Maplewood facility, simply because of the close proximately, but over time, employees continue to want to learn more and assist with hunger initiatives in our community. That has helped move the relationship forward.”

Providing hunger relief to the community is now such a part of the culture at Cummins that new employees pack meal kits for Second Harvest Heartland as part of their onboarding process. Koeniger described the practice as the perfect way to drive home the company’s value of caring and its commitment to giving back to our communities.   

Learn How Your Company Can Give Back

Second Harvest Heartland makes it easy for groups to come together in a meaningful way and give back to the community. We can provide your staff with a wide variety of activities that are designed to encourage teamwork, productivity and generosity.

Learn more about how employee volunteer groups and workplace giving can make a major impact on your community. Check out these awesome employee engagement opportunities.

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