Locals band together to help feed Minnesota families

Publish Date

Three MAPE locals banded together this holiday season to raise nearly $2,000 for The Sheridan Story, a charity designed to fight child hunger by providing a weekend’s supply of food to hungry kids across Minnesota.

The organization began when school administrators at Sheridan Elementary in Northeast Minneapolis discovered students hoarding food from the cafeteria on Fridays. The school staff approached Mill City Church, which met Sundays in the Sheridan auditorium, and asked if they could help address this growing need. In the fall of 2010, Mill City Church, together with Woodridge Church, launched The Sheridan Story – a project designed to fight child hunger by providing a weekend’s supply of food to hungry children.

The program now serves more 5,400 students in 144 schools.

Sheridan Story

Leaders from MAPE locals 301, 801 and 2101 collected nearly $2,000 for the Sheridan Story this past holiday season and presented the check right before Christmas. (See photo to the right)

Local 2101 President Liz Pearson said, “We wanted to support a charity that focused on helping people across the state as opposed to just the Twin Cities. Considering the food instability experienced by children across the state this is a great way to provide support.”

Local 801 Volunteer Committee member Cheryl Huntsock said this was the third year her local has worked with other locals on fundraising for a local organization.

“Sometime the only time the public hears about a union is in news stories during contract negotiations, so we decided to do something that put a positive face on union members,” Hunstock said. “What better way than to give back to the community we serve.”

She said leaders from all three locals met to debate which charity would be the recipient of their fundraising efforts in 2018, and that Local 301’s Mark Snyder recommended The Sheridan Story because he had previously volunteered there.

“I think it’s helpful to work with charities that members have some involvement/track record with, both from the standpoint of it makes it easier to plan when you know who to talk to and you can draw on that experience to help promote the giving opportunity,” Snyder said. “Last year was the first time Local 301 participated and it was an easy decision because pooling our resources seemed like a good way to have a larger impact.”

Though multi-local efforts require more planning and juggling of schedules, all three locals’ fundraising representatives agreed that they’re always looking for more locals that are interested in joining the cause.

“The benefit is that we have more locals contributing money to a worthy cause,” Hunstock said. “It makes the total amount of the donation larger and of more impactful to the charity we choose.”

The locals plan to host a future combined-local event to help pack food supplies at The Sheridan Story’s Twin Cities packing location. If you’d be interested in participating in this event, please contact Liz Pearson at Elizabeth.Pearson@state.mn.us.