When MATTER board member Amanda Escen heard about the MATTERbox Snack Pack Kit, she immediately ordered one. She loved the idea that her family, including her two young children, could pack 50 healthy snack packs from the safety and comfort of their home and give them to children, seniors or anyone in need during this time of crisis. Her neighbors also loved the idea and eagerly purchased Snack Pack Kits. In all, their neighborhood packed 350 snack packs for Eastern Carver County Schools!   

Amanda wanted to share her experience in the hopes that other families will take advantage of this easy way to let people know they matter during this time of uncertainty and need. 

What motivated your family to purchase a Snack Pack Kit? 

I was raised by a family who taught me the importance of giving back to my community. The best part of blessing others is seeing their reactions – the ‘feel good’ emotions are in line with the same emotions that you see/feel from the receiver! I want to raise my children to value community service, too, and to show compassion to others. This was a great project that allowed my kids to help in a safe environment while we are all at home.  

Describe the packing process. Were the instructions easy to understand?  

The packing process was easy and straightforward. We split tasks among the four of us and each did our part – teamwork! Everyone enjoyed helping!  

Since this was a family activity, how did your young children do?  

My kids were pretty excited to participate – it’s hard to find volunteer activities for kids under the age of five largely due to safety concerns. We could and did go at our own pace without feeling rushed since we were at home. My boys each had a food item that they were responsible for putting into each snack bag, which we passed through a rotation.  They loved it!  

One of my neighbors shared that her kids had so much fun writing the positive messages on the YOU MATTER note cards. They were really thinking of how their messages would make other kids feel. 

How did you and your neighbors decide on Eastern Carver County Schools as the recipients for your snack packs? 

We were looking for local need in our community; several of the local agencies that address food & clothing needs for families living in this area have closed due to COVID-19. I knew that Eastern Carver County Schools were handing out lunches while kids are not in school and thought it could be a good match. Once I reached out to the district, I was quickly connected to Lesley Wyman who is the coordinator for The Sheridan Story meal program for the district. Lesley happily accepted our snack packs, and I know that she will get them into the hands of kids in our district who need them most. 

What would you say to others who are considering buying a Snack Pack Kit to help their community during this time? 

Do it!  This is such an easy way to get involved and make a difference in your community at a time when it feels like we are being pulled away from each other due to social distancing. A friend of mine had a great reflection on social media this week:

Think about the money you would have spent this week but didn’t due to restaurant/service industry closures. What if we instead donated that money to organizations and causes that help those most in need? That need doesn’t go away – in fact, it will only grow in this environment where businesses and factories are idled.

Packing Matterbox Snack Packs is a great at-home service project that anyone can do, and it will provide nutritious food to those in need in your community. 

Our thanks to Amanda and her neighbors for providing healthy snack packs for children in their community! To order your own MATTERbox Snack Pack Kit and enjoy a safe, fun and easy activity the whole family can do, please go here for more details.