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Jingle the Bells: Agforce is in the Holiday Spirit

The holidays are a perfect time to get involved in your community, donate your time and give charitably. At Agforce, we’re certainly in the holiday spirit! But not just because it’s the holiday season. We love giving back all year long, and make sure to prioritize community involvement no matter what the weather. 

As we head into the 2019 holiday frenzy, we wanted to take some time to reflect on some of the awesome organizations we’ve had the opportunity to get involved with over the past year. Let’s take a look!

  1. Harvesters: We had such an amazing response to our Agforce food drive that Harvesters sent a small truck to our office just to pick it all up. Then, after the drive, we visited the Harvesters warehouse to help sort donations with our families. One of the Agforce team members’ kiddos said “Dad, you didn’t tell me this was going to be fun!”
  2. Big Brothers Big Sisters Kansas City: The Agforce team donated to and competed in their annual bowling fundraiser. Sure, we might have rolled almost as many gutter balls as strikes, but we had a great time doing it! 
  3. Thelma’s Kitchen: We are so thrilled with the mission of Kansas City’s first and only donate-what-you-can café that we made a commitment to sponsor, serve and clean up after a meal at Thelma’s Kitchen every quarter! We just can’t stay away from Thelma’s inspiring atmosphere.
  4. Sleep in Heavenly Peace: SHP estimates that around 2.2 kids in the US sleep on the floor every night … and Agforce wanted to do something about that. Along with other area volunteers, we donated a Saturday to building 44 bunk beds for local kids. 
  5. Synergy Services: Agforce sponsored and attended Synergy’s annual “Art Soup” fundraiser, where we sampled soups from area restaurants, enjoyed the artwork created by the kids in Synergy’s Youth Resiliency Center, and participated in a really fun auction. We had so much fun that we also put together baking baskets with recipes and materials, sponsored a fundraising cornhole tournament, volunteering at the holiday store and volunteering our time to make gingerbread houses with the Synergy kids.
  6. After the Harvest: We helped glean leftover apples from orchards (After the Harvest calls it “rescuing” the leftover nutritious fruits and veggies!) and distribute them to local shelters and food pantries. 
  7. Fill a Backpack: Our team assisted a local church by filling 80 backpacks with all the supplies local kids needed to get ready for back-to-school.

2019 might be almost over, but Agforce isn’t done! Some of our future community involvement plans for the holiday season include: 

  • Decorating cookies and taking them to Rose Brooks Center and Safe Home
  • Sponsoring an Angel Tree
  • Donating to the Make-a-Wish Foundation

Where will 2020 take our spirit of volunteerism? Definitely back to some of the same organizations we assisted this year, and hopefully a handful of new ones as well! Happy holidays, everyone!

Have Lunch On Me, KC!

Did you know that 15.6 million U.S. households were food insecure at some time during 2016? Or that 17.2% of the population in Jackson County, Missouri, is food-insecure? That’s about 117,270 individuals right in our own backyard.

Agforce delivers food and beverage shipments coast-to-coast every day of the year, but we wanted to make sure we were doing our part to get healthy food to those who need it right here at home, too.

So Agforce sponsored Lunch On Me KC at Thelma’s Kitchen, Kansas City’s first and only donate-what-you-can café.

Thelma’s Kitchen, a non-profit funded by Reconciliation Services in partnership with the Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City and Village Presbyterian Church, exists to meet the very real need our area has for access to affordable food with dignity. “When we serve together and sit and share a meal together,” the website says, “we begin to understand what it means to be community.”

A cross-departmental group of Agforce employees – plus some of our amazing customers and vendors – joined Thelma’s vibrant community last Friday, June 21. We spent three hours serving healthy, local, seasonal lunch to Thelma’s Kitchen customers.

“At Agforce, we’ve always felt like more than just coworkers, customers and contractors. We’re a community in and of ourselves. So it was wonderful to take that sense of community and apply it to something greater,” said Jennifer Whitson, Marketing Manager.

Here’s how the donate-what-you-can café works: like the name implies, guests donate what they are able for a meal that includes soup, salad, entree, beverage and dessert.

Thelma’s Kitchen suggests a $10 donation for a large plate and $7 for a small plate, but no customers get turned away. If guests are unable to afford a $2 minimum donation, they can volunteer 30 minutes of time in the restaurant in exchange for lunch.

“So many Kansas City chefs, farms and food providers – not to mention all Thelma’s guests and volunteers – partner to make this initiative a reality. We were honored to be part of it,” said Pat Lawhon, Strategic Sales & Partnerships.

On the day we spent at Thelma’s Kitchen, the menu included broccoli cheese and Italian sausage soups, meatloaf with mashed potatoes, veggie burgers and Reuben paninis.

“One of the best things about Thelma’s Kitchen is that it’s volunteer-run,” said Michael Preisinger, Managing Director. “So I’d like to challenge our Kansas City-based customers, vendors and peers to volunteer and sponsor a lunch of their own. Together, we can work to build a better community.”

Are you up to the challenge? Learn more about how you can sponsor a lunch and/or volunteer at www.thelmaskitchen.org.