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Be a Sweetheart in Winston-Salem on February 11 and 12

 
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On Valentine’s Day, we all want to do something thoughtful for our sweethearts. Why not double up and help someone you don’t even know have a hot, nourishing meal? It’s so easy!

This is the 14th year for Be a Sweetheart. The event was founded in 2004 when a need to fill their pantries was communicated by our food security partners. In the beginning, Mast Store matched each pound of candy purchased with our own pound of food. Then, because of the ability of our food banks and food rescue partners to stretch a dollar into more, Mast Store began donating $1 for each pound purchased. It was a natural tie-in to link Valentine’s Day, when many of us do something nice for someone we love, to supporting efforts to feed a desperate need in our communities.

Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest North Carolina is our food partner in Winston-Salem, N.C. They’re proud to serve as a critical resource and partner for more than 450 on-the-ground food assistance programs across 18-counties. Last year, Second Harvest provided more than 25 million meals for local communities, assisting nearly 300,000 neighbors, including 100,000 children living at risk of hunger.

be_a_sweetheart_5547.jpgOur friends at Second Harvest Food Bank share a touching story from this past holiday season:

At a food drive this past December in Mt. Airy, North Carolina, a rusty, late model Toyota truck rattled into the parking lot where our Second Harvest tent was set up. An older woman, maybe 70- or 80-years-old, got out and gave us a bag of groceries. The bag’s handle was tearing under the weight of the two big cans of collard greens and the bags of dried pinto beans and rice she had put in it. She had repaired the tear by fastening it shut with a rubber band from which she had also hung two candy canes.

She told us she remembered being hungry when she was a new mother raising her son alone. She remembered that she would skip meals so her son could eat. She said while it was over fifty years ago, she could remember that feeling like it was yesterday.

There are many joys in the world of food banking, from seeing our partners stock their shelves with healthy, nutritious food and open their doors to their communities, to seeing children swing backpacks filled with weekend food over their shoulders, to watching our Triad Community Kitchen students proudly beam at their graduation.

Our greatest joy, however, may be bearing witness to the great generosity of our community. The sheer amount of support we receive from individuals like you is simply extraordinary: from the dollars given to support our programs to the bags of food (sometimes decorated with candy canes) are donated daily.

Second Harvest’s vision is to create a community that is free from hunger, where every mother has enough food to prepare for both her child and herself and where every family can sit down and eat together. As we work towards that goal, we have found something else along the way: the joy of a having a community that wants the same thing.

Every dollar and every can of food that you have donated serves the humble, practical purpose of getting food to those in need. But your generous gifts are also a vote for the type of community we want to be.

In addition to Mast Store’s donation, change collection jars will be positioned at each register. Even a few coins can have life changing effects. Our partners’ ability to stretch any donation is proof positive that a little can do A LOT! This year’s Be a Sweetheart event is coming up on Saturday and Sunday, February 11 and 12.

Click HERE to find out more about how you can get involved with the worthy efforts of Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest North Carolina.
 

Be A Sweetheart 2017 from Mast Store on Vimeo.