From the farm to the warehouse, members of our team took part in community enrichment projects focused on providing food for those in need.
At Telemus, enriching the lives of others is the most rewarding part of what we do. That’s why members of our team recently rolled up their sleeves to help two amazing organizations tackling hunger in the communities where we live and work – Forgotten Harvest in Oak Park, MI and the Geneva-based Northern Illinois Food Bank.
From our headquarters in Southfield, a group of Telemates ventured out to the Forgotten Harvest Farm in Fenton, MI to hand pick corn that could not easily be reached by harvesting equipment. Forgotten Harvest delivers 138,000 pounds of surplus food per day to local charities six days a week, providing families in need with fresh, nutritious food free of charge. Telemus has worked with Forgotten Harvest in the past, volunteering at the farm and in their warehouse.
“We lucked out with a gorgeous September day,” says financial life advisor Trever Helmstead. “We learned that hand picking is required where dips and undulations in the land make machine harvesting ineffective. Also, farmers typically manage spring planting field by field so there’s an organized process for harvesting crops. Due to a very soggy spring, that was not the case this fall when all field corn was ready to be picked immediately.”
“Our team’s help was especially important since our volunteer date marked a mad dash to harvest as much corn as possible before it went to waste,” he added. “Over the course of the morning we filled several dozen crates representing hundreds of ears of corn. This made for a very rewarding experience.”
Throughout the process, the team learned a lot about which ears of corn to pick based on size and appearance and which to avoid due to deer nibbling and mold. As pickers, they became quality control, inspection experts and harvesters.
In Chicago, several of our financial life advisors and our senior investment analyst took part in a pack-a-thon at Northern Illinois Food Bank where they sorted, weighed and packaged potatoes into 4-5 pound bags to be distributed to those in need.
“This was the first time I’d worked on the warehouse floor,” says financial life advisor Lauren Genuardi, who organized the volunteer event. “It brings a completely different perspective to the work and dedication of the volunteers.”
The Northern Illinois Food Bank has an ambitious mission – to end hunger in Northern Illinois. They are a member of Feeding America and a leader in solving hunger in the region. The food bank provides food to local pantries and offers mobile pantries in areas of high need, offering help and hope to more than half a million people each year. .
“It was a powerful experience to volunteer and witness the dedication and generosity of those coming together to feed our hungry neighbors,” Genuardi said. “This exemplifies what it means to enrich the lives of others and it’s meaningful to participate with our Telemus team.”