Avera Medical Minute AMcK: Harvest of Hope celebrates 10 years of giving

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Harvest of Hope has become a Thanksgiving tradition at Avera McKennan. This year marks the 10th year.

Their hope is that no family will go without a Thanksgiving dinner.

“Caring is our foundation of what we do at Avera and so it’s just another way that we can give back to the community and take care of the people in need,” said Tricia Lohr, director of volunteers and retails services at Avera McKennan.

Lohr says even though Avera employees give back on a daily basis helping patients, this is a way they can extend themselves beyond that.

“And the ways that they do that is that they either make a donation or they drop off the meals here and then we arrange -- we work with Salvation Army and Hy-Vee to have those donations filled into meals,” said Lohr.

Hy-Vee uses the monetary donations to buy what’s needed to fill the meal kits.

“So basically it’s a huge assembly line. We order the product. It comes in on about six or seven pallets. We bag it all up into these bags, throw it in the truck right behind and then take it down to the Salvation Army. I call it organized chaos because it’s just it’s go, go, go for about five or six hours getting these bags together. Avera’s products will get over there. Avera does their side of things -- all of the ones that put their own stuff together. Those will be delivered to the Salvation Army and then here this afternoon we’ll deliver our side of it to the Salvation Army as well,” said Nic Hoch assistant director of store operations of Hy-Vee on Minnesota Ave.

“Each of our meals that we have that we provide we put a prayer inside of each. Last year we raised 470 meals which was actually the highest that we’ve ever raised. With that, thinking about four to six people to a family kind of traditionally would be about 2,500 people is how many we were able to impact,” said Lohr.

“Hy-Vee’s really proud to be a part of the Harvest of Hope. We love our partnership with Avera on these types of things because it’s an opportunity to give back to the community during a really important time of the year for families,” said Hoch.

The year a total of 493 meal kits were donation to families in need.

For more information, just call 877-AT-AVERA.