Match doubles employees’ ‘Great Give’ to more than $28,000 to fight food insecurity

Jan. 15, 2021

Individual donations matched by the Minnesota Power Foundation raised more than $28,000 to fight hunger as part of The ALLETE Great Give’s “Feeding Our Communities” campaign.

About 100 employees donated $14,205 during the Foundation’s matching gift campaign in November and December 2020. The Foundation match doubled their gifts for a grand total of $28,410 to support five food banks: Second Harvest North Central Food Bank (Itasca County area), Second Harvest Northern Lakes Food Bank (northeastern Minnesota and northwestern Wisconsin), Second Harvest Heartland (western Minnesota), Great Plains Food Bank (North Dakota), and Montana Food Bank Network.

“Employees gave generously during our ‘Great Give’ to help organizations where they live fight food insecurity, an issue that has grown even more urgent during the pandemic,” said Aimee Curtis, Community Relations and MP Foundation administrator.

Supporting organizations that fight food insecurity has long been a priority for ALLETE and its companies—Minnesota Power; Superior Water Light & Power; ALLETE Clean Energy; and BNI Energy. The pandemic triggered an even greater need to help keep food banks and food shelves stocked as many families and individuals visited them for the first time.

The “Feeding Our Communities” campaign was one of many ways the Minnesota Power Foundation and ALLETE employees helped fight hunger since March 2020. Overall, including the recent employee matching gift campaign, the Foundation contributed $57,400 to 38 food shelves and five food banks.

During Minnesota FoodShare’s March 2020 campaign, MP Foundation grants to food shelves totaled $19,250. More than 30 food shelves each received at least $500.

The Foundation also donated to initiatives apart from the typical food shelf or food bank contribution in 2020. Gifts were made to the College of St. Scholastica for the annual Community Thanksgiving Buffet in Duluth, to Second Harvest North Central Food Bank for backpack meals for elementary school children, to Quad City Food Shelf in Mt. Iron to make entryway improvements for COVID distributions, and to the Pine River-Backus Family Center for community meals.

While not specifically earmarked for hunger initiatives, the Foundation last spring also gave $100,000 to support nonprofits in their work to help people struggling with the economic impacts of COVID-19. The $100,000 was distributed among nonprofits and four special COVID-19 response funds to assist organizations focused on health and human services on the front lines of the pandemic as well as hospitals and emergency responders.