Food Banks Benefit from ‘Give to the Max Day’ Amid Growing Need
Giving back can happen in a number of different ways. At New Hope-based nonprofit The Food Group, a group of volunteers were busy packing holiday meals on Thursday that families will be able to buy for a little less than what it would cost at a grocery store.
“It’s always a good feeling to give back to our community,” said Amber Trelstad, a volunteer. “I think you get so busy in your daily life you forget how many people around you, your neighbors, have the need. And it’s increased dramatically over the last few years with inflation and the cost of everything going up.”
Trelstad is one of 30 volunteers from the company, Vizient, who helped at The Food Group. It’s their way of giving back on Give to the Max Day.
“It feels really great to have civically-minded people getting involved, offering their time, their money, and even sharing, becoming advocates for a better food system,” said Sean Hurdle, volunteer and events manager with The Food Group. “It feels great to see that type of commitment.”
The commitment of time and money is something that local food banks say will be the key to fighting hunger.
The effect of inflation
With the rising price of groceries, places like The Food Group in New Hope and Second Harvest Heartland in Brooklyn Park say the demand for food assistance is even greater than it was at the height of the pandemic.
“Families are struggling to make ends meet because of inflation, consumer prices are really high,” said Allison O’Toole, CEO of Second Harvest Heartland. “And that’s true for us too because we’ve had to buy more food than ever before to provide for our partners and to our community.”
Give to the Max Day is one of the biggest fundraisers of the year for local nonprofits.
It also helps that The Food Group and Second Harvest Heartland have secured matching funds from corporate partners for every donation that comes in.
“It’s critical for this community that we have a good day, and we’re just so grateful for the support,” O’Toole said.
It’s support that will remain necessary, whether it be at Second Harvest or at The Food Group, as long as the price of groceries continues to rise.
“It’s a shot in the arm to us,” O’Toole said. “It motivates us to keep going.”