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Hunger in Moose Jaw - Crystal Bender

Employee Volunteer Spotlight: Crystal Bender, Belle Plaine - The Power of Community in Moose Jaw 

September 7, 2021

If Mosaic's Crystal Bender has learned anything since joining Hunger in Moose Jaw's (HIMJ) Board of Directors, it's that the power of community runs deep in Moose Jaw. As a member of the Board, Crystal participates in various fundraising events and reviews the organization's educational and nutritional programs to ensure they are providing a caring, healthy, and safe environment for the Moose Jaw community they serve. Mosaic has also been a major supporter of HIMJ since 2009.  

HIMJ’s programs and services, which include the Child Nutrition Program, Headstart Preschool, The Good Food Box, Community Gardens, Community Kitchens and Junior Chef, provide needed support to those vulnerable to food insecurity. So, when Covid health and safety protocols saw organizations closing their doors to in-person services, they had to re-imagine how they could safely continue their programming.   

"It was challenging for our organization to quickly establish new programming while continuing to fundraise during the pandemic," said Crystal. "Our priority was keeping our doors open and keeping our existing programs going for those really in need during the challenging times."  

"We were able to transition the instructional cooking programs online so families could participate from their homes."  

The community also came together to support the organization and those who rely on it through the annual 'I Bought a Lunch' Campaign, which helps supply students with a healthy lunch each day of the school week. As a result, the original fundraising goal of $50,000 was doubled, an incredible show of support from the Moose Jaw community, ensuring the 280 children who access the lunch program would continue to receive their lunches at home during the pandemic.   

"Seeing the positive impact our programming has on families that rely on us is what I love most about my role on the Board. It's all about the joy of making a difference and receiving value from the experience of volunteering, meeting people and learning something new," said Crystal. "Now, my time spent volunteering is matched by Mosaic with our new Employee Giving Program. It's a great program for me to support a cause that means a lot to myself and the Moose Jaw community."  

Mosaic's Employee Giving Program rewards employee volunteer and financial efforts with non-profit or charitable organizations that are important to them by matching their contributions up to $2,000 per employee per year.