Spring-Green Volunteers at the Northern Illinois Food Bank

Spring-Green employees sort oatmeal at Northern Illinois Food Bank

On December 15th and 17th, ten of us from the Spring-Green Support Center traveled to the Northern Illinois Food Bank in Geneva, IL to help sort food for those in need throughout 13 counties in northern Illinois. More than 425,000 people each year rely on the food that the food bank supplies, and they currently provide over 50 million meals per year. The Northern Illinois Food Bank began in 1983 and has now grown to four separate facilities that provide food to over 800 food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters, and youth and senior centers.

This is the third time that Spring-Green has volunteered at the Northern Illinois Food Bank. We are usually partnered with three or four groups from other companies who volunteer their time as well. On Monday, December 15, the first group spent their time removing individual packets of oatmeal from boxes that were mistakenly mislabeled by the manufacturer. The oatmeal was fine; it just couldn’t be sold as marked. They tore open cases of the individual packets and placed the packets into large boxes. In total, the group opened and sorted 770 pounds of oatmeal, which will provide meals for 641 people.

The second group volunteerd on Wednesday, December 17, and included five of us from Spring-Green, along with about 25 additional volunteers from two other companies. Since we were handling open food, we worked in a “clean room”. Hair nets, beard nets, aprons, and rubber gloves were worn by all. We were charged with taking the individual packets of oatmeal, tearing them open, and dumping 12 of the packets into plastic bags. These were then sealed and labeled for distribution to the food pantries. The second-day group processed 695 pounds of oatmeal, which was enough for 579 meals.

It’s impressive that we packaged that much food in a little more than two hours, and it’s rewarding knowing that you are helping people that are less fortunate, especially during the holiday season. The food bank provides enough food for about 50 million meals a year. They have set a goal to reach 75 million meals a year by 2020. That is a big increase, but one that is needed.

Spring-Green is proud of its commitment to helping others in our communities and throughout the U.S. Whether it is providing free lawn care services to the homes of veterans who are deployed, helping to beatify Arlington National Cemetery, or working with local organizations like the Northern Illinois Food Bank, we are committed to providing services that help our fellow friends and neighbors.

Interested in finding out more about your local Spring-Green’s involvement in the community? Contact your neighborhood franchise today!

Spring-Green Gives Back to Residents of Historic Smoketown, in Louisville, KY

Harold Enger on aerator for Planet gives back event

For the third year in a row, I was fortunate to participate in a service project that is part of the annual Green Industry Conference in Louisville, KY. The Professional Landcare Network, or PLANET, organizes this event called PLANET Gives Back. On Wednesday, Oct. 22, 2014, I joined 74 other lawn and landscape professionals from across the US to help beautify the grounds around three different buildings in an historic area in downtown Louisville known as Smoketown.

We planted trees, beautified entrances, built planters, performed maintenance around the buildings and core aerated and overseeded athletic fields. The beneficiaries of this work were Mezeek Middle School; YouthBuild Louisville, an education, job training, and leadership program for young adults; and St. Vincent de Paul, one of the oldest social service charities in Louisville.

SG_GivesBack

I was assigned to the core aeration and overseed team and thought I would be walking behind an aerator all day. I was pleasantly surprised when I was given a John Deere tractor with a pull-behind aerator. It has been about 40 years since I had last driven a tractor, but it was just like riding a bike. Once I figured out how to raise and lower the aerator unit and front end loader, I was off to the races.

Spring-Green Lawn Care has always prided itself on our numerous service projects that we are involved in every year. It is our way of giving back to the communities where we work. We have also participated in the annual PLANET Renewal and Remembrance service project at Arlington National Cemetery since its inception in 1996. We join with over 400 green industry professionals from over 100 companies as we work to maintain the beauty of the final resting place of many of our nation’s heroes.

Our local franchises are also involved in many community and service efforts. Want to learn about how your neighborhood franchise owner has benefited the towns in your area? Contact Spring-Green to find out more.