Employees enjoy Octoberzest celebration.

John Henry Foster is an Annual Sponsor of The Open Door

(Eagan, Minnesota) – Thousands of our neighbors struggle to find the money and transportation necessary to access the healthy foods their families need. The Open Door’s Mobile Pantry program continues to grow and find innovative ways of making fresh, nutritious food available for more than 1,000 children, seniors, and adults each month.

Four lucky employees (and their guests) from John Henry Foster sampled food from local restaurants and enjoyed a wide range of local craft beers.

During their 6th Annual OctoberZest event, The Open Door had a goal of raising $50,000 for its Mobile Pantry program, which is a traveling food truck for those who struggle to find the money and transportation necessary to get healthy foods for their families. It reaches more than 1,000-1,500 people a month and visits 15 sites per month throughout Dakota County.

Wade Hanson, Zach Beck, Keith Rudolph and Rich Dean from John Henry Foster attended. Though the event was fun and a great place to meet others about needs that are developing in our surrounding communities, as well as a great opportunity to try various foods and beverages from vendors right in Dakota County, there were a few stats JHFoster’s employees didn’t expect.

“There is such a growing need in the suburbs for the services of the food shelf and it’s not just the homeless or unemployed it’s what I would call the “working poor”,  people who are fully employed but due to rent and other financial needs they are unable to provide for their families.” said Wade Hanson, JHFoster’s Warehouse Coordinator.

“I was surprised (and saddened) to learn about the need for a food shelf in Dakota County.  Also, I didn’t realize that The Open Door also provide basic family needs as well, toilet paper, deodorant, toothpaste etc.  The event opened my mind and heart.  I felt very good when I left, even if I didn’t win the raffle.” said Keith Rudolph, JHFoster’s Service Coordinator.

Overall, it was the best attended event The Open Door has had in six years. Over $36k (and counting) has been raised from OctoberZest!

Wade Hanson concludes, “I felt very good about calling John Henry Foster my place of employment and that we are an annual sponsor to this growing need.  I also felt the need to find ways to help The Open Door via financial or volunteering efforts.”