HOKE_K 015 medium 300dpi fileBy Katherine Hoke, Principal/Managing Partner

This morning, I and two other Shields Legal Group employees volunteered for a 3 hour shift at Minnie’s FoodMinnies 05.16.14 Pantry in Plano. Minnie’s is a non-profit that distributes boxes of groceries to families in need in the local community.  Minnie’s founder, Cheryl Jackson was there, along with her team, Erica Simon, Zoya Davani, and Cheryl’s son R.J. Jackson.

As we arrived for our shift, the Minnie’s team welcomed us and expressed appreciation for our service. Cheryl and Erica explained that Minnie’s strives to give “red carpet concierge service” to each family in need that comes through the door. They actually have a red carpet and red velvet rope barriers at the front entrance to emphasize their motto.

It was clear that Minnie’s treats the families with compassion and respect, appreciating how difficult it is for some people to come to them for help.   Cheryl described the broad range of folks who rely on Minnie’s, from seniors who take a train and two buses, pulling their suitcases behind, to the woman who arrives in her luxury vehicle for a box of groceries because her husband lost his high paying job and now they’re having trouble feeding their kids.   In that instant, I felt both thankful for the blessings in my life, but also comforted in the knowledge that if something tragic happened and my family suddenly found itself in a bad situation, Minnie’s would welcome us with open arms.

I spent my 3 hoMinniesFoodLineur shift packing the boxes of groceries that Minnie’s will distribute over the weekend.  As we packed the boxes, Cheryl would remind us to “make them look pretty.”  There were several times that we had to reassemble boxes to pass Cheryl’s careful inspection. Our group packed more boxes of groceries in a single shift than any other group of volunteers – at least that’s what Cheryl told us at the end of the morning.

The thing that struck me the most about the packing room was how low the grocery supplies were. Minnie’s had received a substantial donation of jars of jelly, yet there was not enough peanut butter for each box.   We ran out of bags of rice, and there were not enough canned pinto beans to go around.

At the end of the shift, Cheryl thanked us again and reminded us that the boxes we packed would make a huge impact in the life of a local family.

Serving at Minnie’s really opened my eyes to the problem of hunger in our suburban neighborhoods. When I asked Cheryl what our firm could do to help Minnie’s get through the summer, she said “we need 1,000 boxes of instant mashed potatoes.” So, that’s what we’re aiming for …

1,000 BOXES OF INSTANT MASHED POTATOES to Minnie’s Food Pantry by July 7th.MashedPotatoes

You can help by donating boxes to Shields Legal Group, at 16301 Quorum Drive, Suite 250B, Addison, Texas  75001. We will collect the boxes and deliver  them to Minnie’s on July 7th.

We still need 490 boxes to make our goal.

        Won’t you please help families in need?


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