Community Action Center of Northfield (CAC)

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FoodShare Results, Bethel Youth Recognized

May 17, 2011

Mission accomplished! During the Community Action Center of Northfield’s (CAC) March FoodShare campaign, the organization collected $111,472 and 37,128 pounds of food to support its Food Shelf and the more than 450 families it serves each month. Through the generous donations of families, individuals and organizations across the Northfield area, the CAC exceeded its goal by nearly 15 percent.Jim Blaha, executive director, said, “We’re truly humbled by the result of our March collection. People across Northfield came together to support their neighbors in need and did so with such generosity. The gifts made throughout the month of March have laid a solid foundation on which to build. We have every reason to believe that we’ll be able to continue to meet the growing needs of those in our community who are hungry.”

The CAC estimates its FoodShare goal was met through the support of 25 businesses, 19 churches, nine school groups, five civic groups and 1,006 individuals. In fact, the youth at Bethel Lutheran Church received statewide recognition from the MN FoodShare Campaign for their collection efforts, claiming the award for the “Most Creative Food Drive – Youth” category. The YES (Youth Energized to Serve) Team, made up of approximately 30 middle-school-aged students who attend Bethel Lutheran Church, set out to raise $12,000 and surpassed its goal, raising $14,035 and 158 pounds of food for the Food Shelf.

Community Action Center Program Director Judy Bickel nominated the group for the award. In her nomination she wrote: “Each Sunday the group performed an informative skit in front of the congregation during their church service. The theme song from ‘Mission Impossible’ blared out of the speakers as the group, disguised as special agents, marched to the front of the church to talk about hunger issues and to ask the congregation to take their ‘mission’ seriously. … They set up a large display to show how far the Community Action Center could stretch a $5 donation, made handouts and created a visual to track the congregation’s fundraising progress. … The students are highly respected among congregation members for their excellent service and they’re learning firsthand that they can make a significant contribution to their community.”

Blaha continued, “The energy and enthusiasm the Bethel YES Team brought to this year’s drive is wonderfully inspiring – it wouldn’t have been the same without them. The Community Action Center has always benefitted immensely from the volunteer efforts of our caring community members – nearly 2,000 individuals and more than 27,000 hours last year alone – and together we’ll continue to help those of our neighbors who are in transition and well-deserving of support in their journey to independence and self-sufficiency.”