Second Harvest Heartland has continued to identify Benton County as an area of food insecurity in Minnesota, and so has partnered with CARE to continue monthly distributions at our Foley office.
We have certainly had an unusual year. With all the changes going on around us, we had to make some changes too. One of the most rewarding is the expanded food distribution. Usually, CARE purchases and distributes produce free to all Benton County residents only in the summer months, but this year distributions began in April. We had the opportunity to distribute donated produce from the Svihel Farms and Stoney Brook Farms, and from Second Harvest Heartland, who added donations of meat and dairy products. Residents of all ages were invited in, and they lined up in their cars for blocks, waiting patiently for volunteers to load the boxes and bags into their vehicles.
Many volunteers show up each month, some hauling produce picked up from the farms, some sort-ing and bagging the produce, some loading them into waiting resident’s vehicles, and some delivering boxes to homebound families.
Each delivery from Second Harvest provides different products, and we receive many thankful calls and letters. Our volunteers have handed out a total of 210,745 pounds of food so far this year! An average of 500 households have participated each month. We are grateful we have the opportunity to help families in our community.
On Thursday, January 21st, and on Monday, February 15th, Benton County residents of all ages may pick up two boxes of food between 11:00 am and 1:00 pm, or until they are all gone. We ask that everyone follow the signs and the directions of police officers at the site. Cooperation and patience in the past months have made this process go smoothly, and has been very successful.