Two pieces of news provide a flicker of hope amid the doom and gloom.
Hundreds of Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America employees participated in a "human chain" to load hundreds of boxes of employee-donated food and clothing into semi-trucks at their headquarters, it was announced.
According to a release, the donations raised will help feed and clothe more than 1,800 families in need around the Golden Valley community, according to PRISM (People Responding in Social Ministry), a community-funded social service agency that serves local families in need.
"Hunger and poverty continue to rise in Minnesota and around the country. As the need grows, I am proud to see our employees continue to do their part in our local community. The donations will help our neighbors who have hit hard times," said President and CEO of Allianz Life, Walter White. "Our community can count on us; the giving seen here today comes from the heart of our employees."
During the past month, Allianz Life employees collected food, clothing, and cash for PRISM.
"We distribute more than 2,200 pounds of food a day - that's about 30 carts of food sent out the door daily - and over 39,000 pounds of food a month," PRISM's Interim Executive Director Cheryl Jensen said. "People come to our food shelf from all walks of life - some have been laid off, some are elderly, others are just struggling to make ends meet. These donations help with our efforts to stabilize their immediate crisis while we work with them to create solutions for their future."
While loading the semi truck, local sporting mascots - T.C. Bear of the Minnesota Twins, Viktor with the Minnesota Vikings, Goldy of the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers, and Nordy from the Minnesota Wild - motivated the employees. When the donations arrived at PRISM, 50 students from the Dassel Cokato National Honors Society assisted in unloading the tons of clothing and food.
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