Sometimes the generosity of a neighbor can make all the difference during a rough time. And on April 27, Robbinsdale Area Schools, and Plymouth Middle School in particular, was the beneficiary of some neighborly grace following the firearm incident that occurred earlier in the day.
Throughout the incident, the New Hope Hy-Vee grocery store pitched in by gathering and delivering hot meals, snacks and water to Plymouth Middle School, helping ensure school staff, first responders and district administrators were fed while working during a difficult time.
For New Hope Hy-Vee Store Director Jack Stortenbecker, helping out was an easy decision. “We employ 500 people at the store, and most of them live in this community,” he said. “Some of our staff are parents and have children who attend (PMS). So helping out was something we wanted to do.”
After connecting with Robbinsdale Area Schools and learning about what was needed, Stortenbecker and others first gathered and then delivered snacks and water to feed up to 150 staff and first responders. In the meantime, the store’s food-service staff, led by manager and PMS parent Vanessa Isiordia, assembled 150 hot meals using food from the store’s mealtime offerings, and then helped deliver the meals to the staff and law enforcement at the school.
For the school staff, district administrators and first responders at Plymouth Middle School, the support made a real difference during a difficult time.
“This is such an inspiring example of neighbors helping neighbors. Someone in the community saw other people in the community needing support, and in their time of need, pitched in to help in whatever way they could,” said Interim Superintendent Dr. Stephanie Burrage. “We couldn’t be more thankful for the generosity of all those at the New Hope Hy-Vee for their generosity and support.”
Stortenbecker said being able to immediately help the community in a time of need is something that his company takes pride in.
“Hy-Vee as a company really empowers store directors to do this kind of thing without having to run it up the chain -- to decide what the community needs at the moment,” he said. “It’s the kind of thing that helps connect us all together as a community. And I’m just happy we could help make the day a little easier for those who needed it.”