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Eric Aft: Past Accomplishments and Future Achievements

Updated: Aug 28, 2019

Over the holidays my wife asked me if I’d be making any New Year’s resolutions. While I think she knew my standard answer (‘No, I don’t make resolutions’), I clarified a little more and told her that I do have goals, but no resolutions.

For me, the distinction is simple – goals combine both possibilities and capabilities. Goals build on past accomplishments while also forging new trails off existing paths. For Second Harvest Food Bank, because of you, our 2018 accomplishments are truly remarkable and the foundation on which we have to build is something very special.

Because of you Second Harvest’s accomplishments are truly remarkable. Thanks to the tremendous support of our community in 2018, the foundation on which we have to build in this New Year is something very special.

The accomplishments from which we build.

In late 2018, Second Harvest lost our cornerstone when Clyde Fitzgerald passed away. His leadership as both volunteer and then our CEO until this past June has been instrumental in creating the large and robust Food Bank we have today. We are motivated by his passion and committed to building on his legacy. The best way to know to honor him is to take our work to new levels to address hunger and its root causes – Clyde would expect nothing less.

On the foundation of strong leadership and a powerful mission, we saw some impressive results in 2018. While impossible to list them all, here are three highlights.

We provided more food to our neighbors in need than ever before – over 38 million pounds. This included strong growth in the amount of fresh produce provided to families who often are unable to afford this vital source of health and nutrition.

The Service Insights data entry project fully launched in six of our eighteen counties. While data may not seem exciting, this initiative will tell us a great deal about challenges faced by those we serve related to food access and health disparities, which will point our way to better solutions in the future.

Our Providence Programs opened a second restaurant, Providence Kitchen at BB&T. This social enterprise employs graduates of our Providence Culinary Training program and provides an additional training location for our residency program that will create future restaurant managers, executive chefs, and even restaurateurs.

Forging new trails in 2019

As we look ahead and establish those aforementioned goals for 2019, here is just a sampling of what you can look forward to hearing about:

Growth in the distribution of fresh produce across our network of partner agencies through our increased capacity to receive and manage more vegetables and fruit.

Implementation of an after-school, hot meals program that will reach hundreds of children as well as seniors and individuals with disabilities Monday through Friday of every week.

Expansion of our Providence Culinary Training activities into additional counties in the Second Harvest service area.

Implementation of the Service Insights program across our remaining counties to enhance our understanding and needs of those we serve.

Focus on innovation across all of our strategies to bring new ideas and thinking with the singular focus on addressing the immediate food insecurity needs of our community members as well as the causes of hunger in our region.

While the start of a new year is a time for planning, it is also a wonderful time to reflect. For me, this reflection is easy – it is simply about thankfulness. Because of you, children have the food they need to succeed in school and beyond. Because of you, parents have the nutrition to keep them focused at work and home. Because of you, seniors do not have to make choices between medication and food. Because of you, individuals have a new career path through culinary arts training. We are humbled by all you do to make this all a reality.

Finally, I want to express my thanks for an amazing team at Second Harvest. I am inspired by our team’s dedication and focus on making a difference in the lives of others every single day. They are truly special people – thank you to you all!

Our past accomplishments and the achievements yet to come are only possible because of your support. You bring the Second Harvest Food Bank’s mission to life and we are thankful for your belief in and commitment to all we do.

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Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest NC

3655 Reed St. 

Winston-Salem, NC 27107

Tel: 336-784-5770

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