The excitement was palpable, the energy level through the roof. On Tuesday, April 23rd, over 100 people from the community, many of them children, came together at Pack For A Purpose at the Conway Community Center in St. Paul to pack MATTERbox meal kits and snack packs for thousands of local kids and their families. Filled with nutritious food and nutrition education, MATTERboxes are designed to help inspire and activate healthy eating.
Pack For A Purpose was made possible thanks to the generous efforts of Hy-Vee and the Minnesota Timberwolves and Lynx organizations, in partnership with MATTER. Earlier this year, Hy-Vee customers donated $6,000 through an in-store campaign, with Hy-Vee and the Timberwolves matching $5,000 each toward the effort. The Sanneh Foundation, a local organization dedicated to improving the lives of youth in the community, will distribute the MATTERboxes to the children and families it serves.
At the Conway Center, dozens of eager children, along with parents and teachers, joined employees from Hy-Vee and members of the Timberwolves and Lynx organizations to pack the boxes and learn about the importance of nutrition and fitness.
In addition to packing, there was an interactive cooking demo for the kids, led by Hy-Vee registered dieticians, using a recipe and ingredients from a MATTERbox meal kit. Easy and delicious, the recipes encourage children and families to take their first steps toward healthier eating. Rounding out the experience, a Hy-Vee KidsFit activity station illustrated to the children in attendance the importance of exercise and activity.
On hand to encourage the kids on the importance of health and fitness was Timberwolves Interim Head Coach Ryan Saunders, General Manager Scott Layden, and Lynx players, Rebekkah Brunson and Danielle Robinson.
Despite growing up in a home that encouraged healthy eating, Brunson admitted that she went through a phase of making poor eating choices. The effects on her body were noticeable and taught her an important lesson.
“I didn’t have the energy that I needed to perform. The food was taking a lot out of me instead of giving a lot to me. I realized the things I was eating mattered. So I started making better eating choices and better decisions. I can stand here 15 years later, playing in the WNBA, and say that what I ate had a lot to do with that.”
With summer coming, Coach Saunders encouraged the kids to make smart decisions with their extra free time. “Get outside and be active. Play with your friends, and play sports. Doing things like that will help you create a healthy lifestyle.”
Empowering youth to live full, healthy and productive lives is what The Sanneh Foundation is all about. As a former professional soccer player, Tony Sanneh knows well the important role nutrition plays in a healthy lifestyle. He also recognizes the importance of the community coming together to support and help its young people.
“Being able to work collaboratively for impact is so rewarding. Having MATTER, the Wolves, the Lynx, Hy-Vee and the kids all together was a really special day.” Tony Sanneh
MATTER is grateful for these invaluable community partners coming together to Pack For A Purpose. By joining forces, we’re making a huge impact on the health of families across the Twin Cities. If you or your company would like to join us to impact even more lives, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.