Sometimes, issues such as ending hunger can feel overwhelming. Throughout the year, Muscatine Center for Social Action (MCSA) works to make ending hunger at the local level more manageable by providing ways for people to give to its food bank. This holiday season, MCSA and Hy-Vee have teamed up to make ending hunger and meeting the needs of people across the county easier than ever with their Scan Away Hunger program.
Jennifer Leirness, Resource Development Officer at MCSA, credits Hy-Vee Mainstreet Store Operator Chad Adams with bringing the Scan Away Hunger program to Muscatine. After seeing similar partnerships succeed in other places, Adams worked with his staff to tailor the program to Muscatine’s needs. They also designed promotional material to use at their store and Hy-Vee Second Avenue, which will also participate.
Shoppers can support Scan Away Hunger easily. At the checkout in either Hy-Vee, cashiers will ask if you would like to scan the plate hung up at each register. Saying yes allows Hy-Vee to donate $2 to MCSA, which will go to providing both meals and case management services. “It’s an easy way while you’re at Hy-Vee to support MCSA. A lot of people, especially at the holidays, are coming for community meals and case management” emphasized Leirness.
Right now, MCSA can really benefit from the donations. Each day at their lunchtime community meal, they serve an average of forty people, but on heavier days, they can serve closer to ninety. They also have numerous people accessing their case management services, which help them find the additional help they need for future success.
Currently in its first year, Scan Away Hunger will run through December 24th. Leirness anticipates the program bringing in significant funds, which will in turn help a significant number of people get the food and care they need. “We are grateful for any amount,” stressed Leirness, “However, we’d be happy with $500. This is a new fundraiser, so we don’t know what to expect, but we hope the community will really get behind it,” she added.
If Scan Away Hunger does succeed, Leirness hopes to make it an annual event. “We would love partnering with Hy-Vee [again]! So far, it’s been a smooth experience, and we look forward to partnering with Hy-Vee again if it’s successful,” Leirness stated.
As more and more people learn about and participate in Scan Away Hunger, they will have the power to help end local hunger in the most convenient way possible. “I think the program is going to help our guests during the holiday season. People come to us looking for resources, and we never turn them away,” she reiterated.