Today is going to be a real good day. That is the feeling I want people to have when they start their day with Seven Sundays. For a long time now, I’ve been searching for a way to take this important mission to the parts of our community in need so that everyone has a shot at a real good day. Naturally, this brought me to schools, and specifically, school breakfast programs. So I met with anyone and everyone who knew something about them.
And then in a moment, with one story, I was completely humbled: A young child, pocketing extra grapes in the lunch line on a Friday so that he and his family would have something to eat over the weekend. Before I heard this story, I simply did not understand the real issue – hunger. After I heard this story (and similar others), it was clear what we needed to do at Seven Sundays to further our mission.
The magic comes in finding the right place to focus your efforts and make a scalable impact. We’re a small company and aren’t quite equipped to take on the world, but we know that every little bit helps. About 6 months ago, while we were stuck between wanting to feed every child in the world and not knowing quite where to start, I got an email through our website contact form. It was from a woman working at a non-profit called Sheridan Story in Minneapolis. It went something like this (actually, exactly like this. She said it so perfectly I don’t want to paraphrase):
Hi Seven Sundays Team,
I work for The Sheridan Story, a non-profit located here in Northeast Minneapolis. We are a weekend food program that focuses on the "weekend food gap" that thousands of children face on Saturdays and Sundays when they aren't in school to receive free/reduced meal programs in schools. We address this food gap by distributing a 5-pound bag of food right into the children's backpack each Friday morning, allowing them to have consistent access to nutritious and wholesome options over the weekend.
I'm reaching out because I absolutely love Seven Sundays. I feel confident feeding it to my own 2.5 year-old son, knowing that it's nourishing and tasty for him. I want to spread the love to other children in our community!
I'm curious if Seven Sundays would consider a partnership with The Sheridan Story to purchase your muesli by the pallet. I'm hoping our two small-but-mighty teams can come together to address child hunger and introduce Seven Sundays to communities who may not otherwise have access.
I look forward to connecting, and exploring what we can do together!
While Sheridan Story was reaching out to Seven Sundays, a small elementary school in South Minneapolis called Stonebridge World School was reaching out to Sheridan Story. They are a Charter School founded on a mission to provide a global education, while also providing additional support to homeless and highly mobile families. For good reason, they thought their families and students would be receptive to the service that Sheridan Story offered. Turns out they were right. We expected 100 of the 300 Stonebridge students would sign up for the program, and 138 did!
This fall, with the start of the school year, Seven Sundays started spending our Fridays at the wonderful Stonebridge as their Sheridan Story sponsor. We have committed 1% of all sales to go directly towards the cost of food, to supplement the support of Sheridan Story. In addition to providing funding we volunteer our time to actually get those kids the food they need. We pack the backpacks of the 138 students with a bag of food to take home for the weekend. The food package is developed by The Sheridan Story to be substantial and nutritious, and contains protein, fruit, vegetables, a canned soup/stew and a base, think rice, pasta, etc.
The Sheridan Story is in its sixth year of partnering with schools, businesses and organizations to make sure that students are getting the nourishment they need over the weekend. With nearly 100 schools reached last school year they fed some 4,000 students.
In the world of startup food, forward motion doesn’t often come easy. But in this case, our partnership formed effortlessly, which goes to show if you follow your passion with an open heart, great things can come naturally. In the fashion of constantly looking forward, we are working on a modified muesli recipe to fit the weekend food model that Sheridan Story has developed, to become the first Community Service and operational food partner of the organization.
You could call it a give-back program, but in the end, we are the ones feeling fulfilled. So lets just call it even.
If you want to join us in giving back and getting food to these great kids, donate here and select Stonebridge World School in the dropdown menu.