$5 = 18 meals!!!

J0400015 On Wednesday when I posted my Baked Potato Soup recipe here, I also posted it on Active Rain, a group REALTOR blog with 165,472 nationwide members. A Wisconsin couple commented that they planned to make the soup.

Well…yesterday morning that couple sent me a link to their post about how they stopped at Aldi to pick up supplies for the soup and noticed piles of buns…which reminded them of food shortages in a local shelter. They ended up leaving with 72 bags of buns, with sloppy joe fixings and hot dogs to fill them to deliver to the shelter!

They inspired me to start thinking about ways to help the hungry here in our corner of the Upper Midwest. Food shelf visits have increased in 2009 and although donations have also increased, the 23% increase in donations doesn't cover the 40% increase in need.

I thought of Second Harvest Heartland and learned that they will distribute 50 million pounds of food by the end of 2009…in 59 counties in Minnesota and western Wisconsin.

I also learned that…

  • The fastest growing group of food shelf clients is the working poor…47% of food shelf clients are employed
  • Demand for food is up about 50% due to uncertainty around jobs, unemployment and underemployment
  • 9.5% of Minnesota households will struggle to find food this week

I discovered that hungry families are trying to make it on their own, even though they may be eligible to receive more assistance…

  • Families provide for 61% of their meals out of their own pockets
  • Only 22% of their meals come from government assistance
  • Only 5% of their meals come from groups like Second Harvest Heartland

…and then I learned that money donations can go even farther than food donations…

  • For every $1 donated, Second Harvest Heartland can distribute more than $9 worth of food
  • And…a $5 donation helps distribute enough food for 18 meals!!!

Fooddrive3 That's when I decided to make a donation to Second Harvest Heartland…and sponsor a Second Harvest Heartland Food Fund Drive in case any of you would also like to contribute…starting today and going through Thanksgiving week…short and sweet and just in time for Thanksgiving!

A simple recipe that started here in Minnesota…ended up feeding hundreds in Wisconsin…and bounced back to Minnesota to be the inspiration to feed hundreds more.

Thank you, Sally & David of Active Rain…and thank you to those of you who are inspired to keep it growing in your own corner of the world…hunger knows no season!

Sharlene Hensrud, RE/MAX Results – EmailHomesMSP.com

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I love what I do! Highly insightful, analytical and creative, there is nothing I love more than helping you find the right solution for your real estate transition. My mission is to serve my clients with honesty and integrity, exceeding their expectations in service and support… and to help others by donating a portion of every transaction to Habitat for Humanity.

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