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'Have a Heart, Help a Neighbor' Fundraiser Fights Hunger with Record Donations

Updated: 12/13/2013 5:49 PM
Created: 12/13/2013 12:06 PM WDIO.com
By: Brittany Falkers

Long before the sun was up Friday morning WDIO/WIRT's Good Morning Northland crew was out at the First Untied Methodist Church in Duluth for the 10th annual "Have a Heart, Help a Neighbor" fundraiser. 

For the past decade this fundraiser and live broadcast had raised money for Second Harvest Northern Lakes Food Bank, the region's only food bank.  This year was another success because of dedicated volunteers and viewers like you who made donations.

Second Harvest rescues food from grocery stores, high schools, hospitals and more.  They then distribute that food to more than 120 non-profit organizations, such as food shelves, throughout the weekend.

"We provide 4.8 million pounds of food, 3.8 million meals for people of the Northland.  So, It's really important that people support Second Harvest and work to help those in need," Second Harvest Executive Director Shaye Moris said. 

It was a cold day for the WDIO crew members and volunteers on the hill in Duluth, but they found ways to stay warm in the subzero temperatures.  Donated coffee from Farmer Brothers Coffee and hot food from Frank's Fast and Fresh Deli with the Hammond Spur kept bellies warm. 

The frigid weather didn't keep viewers like you from stopping by to make a donation to Second Harvest Northern Lakes Food Bank.  It was like a revolving door of vehicles through the church parking lot as folks dropped off donations on their way to school or work.  

"The tenth year has been really busy.  We're getting a lot more traffic than we expected and it certainly seems like there's a lot of donations coming in," Moris said.

The event has a big goal of raising money for the food bank, but the event also gets people thinking about the issue of hunger.  "The fact that it's raising awareness and getting people to act with their local food shelf or Second Harvest is really what we're trying to accomplish," Moris said.  "It really helps feed thousands of people in need."

Big donations from organizations such as Robin's Fund, Project Joy and from local businesses like the National Bank of Commerce make a huge difference.  But it's individuals who can really make an impact. 

According to Moris, it was a record donation year. She said you donated $9,491, and 628 pounds of food which will result in 47,957 meals.

She said last year, $15,159  was raised but there was also a $7,000 match, which means viewer support was really $8,159.

Thank you to all of the volunteers, donators and viewers like you for making this year's "Have a Heart, Help a Neighbor" event a success and for making a difference for those in need this holiday season.

The fundraiser may be over, but you can still donate online, just click HERE.

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