Feeding Minnesota: Why Matter matters

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The pandemic may be winding down but hunger-fighting organizations report the number of people who are food insecure continues to rise.

This summer, 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS and our community partners are feeding Minnesota and we need your help. Matter is one of the nonprofits we’re supporting.

The idea for creating Matter happened in 2000.

"Twin Cities businesspeople Megan and Dennis Doyle asked themselves what do we have to give back to the community," said Rebecca Newhouse, Matter vice president of development and engagement. "And for them, being in the real estate business, it was warehouse space."

Dennis passed away this spring. One of his legacies through Matter is feeding Minnesotans.

"A lot of what we do here, especially locally, is focused on providing healthy food for kids and families who need it," Newhouse said.

They do a lot of that with Matter Boxes full of snack packs that are often filled by volunteers. Joe Newhouse—Matter vice president of Creative, Strategy & Innovation—said there’s healthy food and inspiration in every snack pack.

"There’s a goal card that teaches kids about food, fitness and friends. Wild butter, which is a peanut butter substitute. Unsweetened apple sauce and then whole wheat crackers."

Joe said each snack pack comes with a personal note. "Every volunteer who packs it writes a little note of encouragement. And this actually ends up being one of the most favorite parts of the pack."

Many off the Matter Boxes full of snack packs will go to kids attending summer camps.

"We’re working with community partners," Rebecca said. "Like the Sanneh Foundation, the Thielen Foundation and JP4 Foundation to provide meals for kids who are missing food during out of school time. So we aim to provide 50,000 meals, working with our local partners, to kids and families in need."

It’s all part of the summer-long effort to feed Minnesotans who need our help the most.