Participating flower shops, including K&K Greenery of Miller, will gather canned goods for distribution by their local food pantries during National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week. During Caring Rose Week, November 12-17, donors who bring two cans of food can buy one dozen long-stemmed roses to grace their tables over Thanksgiving for only $10.
Demand for food from charity providers is up by as much as 40 percent due in part to America recovering from the greatest economic downturn since the Great Depression. To help, florists across the central United States will gather over 32 tons of food for those in need during Caring Rose Week. Now in its 14th year, the program will likely surpass three quarters of a million pounds of donated food over the life of the event.
Florists in each community choose a local food-distribution charity. Collected canned goods are then distributed through the charity to feed those within the community who cannot otherwise meet their nutritional needs. Coming at the onset of seasonally cold weather, the program helps food-distribution programs when families begin to experience the greatest financial pressure.
Caring Rose Week’s timing – and that of National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week – is appropriate.
Jill Henessy of Flower Box in Graceville, Minn., reports that customers bring in bags of food rather than just the two cans needed. “Their generosity is overwhelming. The food stays local, where we need it.”
“I think people at this time of year are in a reflective mood,” said Matt Gasson, Executive Director of Feeding South Dakota, with offices in Sioux Falls, Pierre and Rapid City, and about 450 non-profit affiliates in every county across the state. “People reflect on all that we have and are thankful for. This is a time of great connection.”