Volunteers donate their time at Cultivate Food Rescue for MLK Day

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SOUTH BEND, Ind. – Instead of taking the day off, volunteers gave their time, helping package meals at Cultivate Food Rescue, in honor of Martin Luther King Jr.

“We had two groups this morning—one from Barnes and Thornburg and one from Heart City Health— and they both had the day off, both businesses,” said Laura McNally, Communications and Education Coordinator at Cultivate. “And they decided to get up early anyway and come in and give back to Cultivate and the community, so it’s really inspiring.”

For Barnes and Thornburg—a local law firm in Michiana—Cultivate was just one of the non-profits their employees volunteered at. They were thankful for the opportunity to give back to their community.

Senior Marketing Services Manager for Barnes and Thornburg in South Bend, Amy Kintz said “We enjoy it, we love it. To be able to support the work that Cultivate is doing, and better understand the work that they’ve been doing has been so impactful for us. To be a part of that just makes us feel really, really good.”

For Heart City Health, a non-profit healthcare center from Elkhart, volunteering with Cultivate provided them with a way to pay-it-forward.

“Cultivate for us is a huge asset to our outreach department,” said Shane Gary, with Heart City Health. “Cultivate delivers for us one-hundred and fifty meals a week, and then we’re able to give those meals to patients who don’t have means. So our team, we actually volunteer twice a month—the first Friday of each month and then the third Wednesday—so part of us coming here is repaying them for what they do for us, that allows us to give our patients food.”

Despite having only a handful of volunteers from each organization, both groups worked hard this morning.

Kintz said “We packed 395 breakfasts today!”

“We packed 559 today, which is phenomenal for the low number of teammates that we had today, so we’re super excited about that,” said Gary.

Together, both groups made 954 meals—a decent portion of the near 7,000 meals Cultivate provides to hungry families through their backpack program.

McNally said its inspiring to see the volunteers give their time on this special day: “Especially on Martin Luther King Day, where we’re really celebrating a day of service and his goal was to envision a better life, and we get to see that when the volunteers come in. We’re talking, we’re having fun and serving our community, all while packaging food that would have otherwise gone to waste, so it’s a win-win-win.”

More information on volunteering at Cultivate Food Rescue can be found here.

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