Trees of Hope: Second Harvest NAPS Program

Taylor Dayton
Updated: December 16, 2019 08:54 AM

"Every little bit can help," 75-year-old James Craven said as he walked into Second Harvest Northern Lakes Food Bank out of the cold and snow outside to pick up some food.


Craven is among a growing number of what are known as "grand families": grandparents living on a fixed income while also providing meals for their grandkids. He says any additional food is always a huge help.

"The extra they have now and then that they put out, like tonight they have apples, celery, watermelon. It does provide me with a lot of nutrition that normally I wouldn't have because I just can't afford the fact that prices now days are so bad," Craven said.

Each year over 301,000 meals are provided to seniors in need as part of the Nutrition Assistance Program for Seniors, or NAPS that Second Harvest operates.

"It's a whole variety of different food. It is all shelf stable product," Second Harvest Program Director Dan Wilson said. "There is cereals, canned vegetables, canned fruit, fruit juices, canned protein. We also give out the big blocks of cheese as well and some shelf stable milk and a host of other things."

But this massive operation would not be possible without the army of volunteers who can to help pack and distribute the food.

"The NAPS program actually takes a lot of helping hands from the community to operate and feed people in need," Wilson said. "Twice per month we have volunteers come in and help us pack the food and then actually work in our clean room and put a host of different food items in the food boxes that we are going to give to seniors."

So if you are considering volunteering to help in this great effort, or if you think you could benefit from this program, Craven says, "I would suggest in all honesty that you do it."

And Wilson says the best way to accomplish this is to "go ahead and call and we will just walk you through the process. It is really simple to find out if you can get more food each month from the NAPS program."

To get involved in the program all you need to do is call Second Harvest Northern Lakes Food Bank at 218-727-5653 ext 112.


Taylor Dayton

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