Annual Stuff-A-Truck effort aids area food shelves

The 11th annual Stuff-A-Truck campaign organized by Mackenthun’s Fine Foods in Waconia was a tremendous success, as area citizens donated almost 20,000 pounds of food destined for the Waconia United Food Shelf, Carver Southwest NYA Food Shelf and the Watertown Friends for Life Food Shelf.
“I would like to take this opportunity to reward each and every participant with our deepest gratitude,” said Nancy Weckman, who coordinated the Stuff-A-Truck effort with Colleen Buckentin, on behalf of herself, Buckentin, and store owners Kim Mackenthun, Jaime Mackenthun and Jessa Theis. “Thank you to our customers for buying our pre-packed bags of groceries and our Stuff-A-Truck mobiles.”
The community raised 19,244 pounds of food. As it takes 12,378 pounds to fill a semi-truck, it took two semi-truck loads to distribute the donations to the three food shelves, a task that occurred in mid-November.
“Without the efforts from area schools, businesses and families, this would not have been possible,” Buckentin said. “We should take pride in all our work to enhance the lives of so many less fortunate individuals and families.  Through this selfless endeavor, not only did the hungry benefit, but our children as well, while they learned first-hand the valuable lesson of giving.”
The donated items were appreciated at all three food shelves, which always sees an increased need for service during the holiday season.
“Generous donations and/or service for this great event makes our community an excellent place to learn from each other and support those around us,” said Weckman, who noted special appreciation to the efforts of local students, who put their hearts into this event. “As always, a sincere thanks to Waconia United Food Shelf, Carver Southwest NYA Food Shelf and Watertown Friends for Life for keeping the spirit of giving alive throughout the entire year.”
Stuff-A-Truck organizers thanked the following stores, groups and schools that helped this year: Waconia Farm Supply, Holy Family Catholic High School, Waconia High School, Clearwater Middle School, Bayview Elementary, Southview Elementary, NYA Central High School, Central Middle School, Central Elementary, The Waconia Patriot, Kelly & Kelsey Hedlund, Chanticlear Pizza, Roma/Bernatello’s, Ridgeview Medical Center and Mackenthun’s Fine Foods.
“Thank you for a super 11th year of Stuff-A-Truck,” Buckentin said. “We have all made it a wonderful Thanksgiving for so many. Enjoy the holiday season and know that each of you have made an incredible difference.”