The Board of Directors for Second Harvest Food Bank of East Central Indiana and the Board of Directors for TEAMwork for Quality Living announced earlier today that their organizations have finalized a Memorandum of Understanding by which TEAMwork for Quality Living will merge with Second Harvest Food Bank effective July 1, 2016.
A year ago, the Board of Second Harvest began a strategic planning process to determine and shape the organization’s future in an environment that was changing rapidly. Up to that point, how well they were accomplishing their mission of providing food for the most needy in East Central Indiana was measured by the number of pounds of food they delivered, the number of agencies they networked with, and how many meals they could provide for a dollar. According to Second Harvest Board President Jeff Sikora, “We began wrestling with the root causes of poverty and food insecurity during this planning process. Continuing to provide food for the hungry and food insecure is an important and vital service, but it is only part of the equation. The other consideration was how to affect life change that would ‘shorten the line’ for those in need.”
From these strategic discussions came a new, expanded direction: “Help for Today, Hope for Tomorrow.” The challenge was not just to deal with the immediacy of hunger, but how to address the underlying root causes for a better future. They could handle “Help for Today,” but how to fully engage in “Hope for Tomorrow” activities presented more challenges. As they grappled with this new component of their mission, they considered a number of alternatives, ranging from the development of new programs from scratch to seeking collaborative arrangements with established providers. They saw the advantages of aligning with an established provider as it would allow them to bring a proven solution to the table more quickly. From this process came the idea of partnering with TEAMwork for Quality Living, a local grassroots organization focused on poverty elimination.
Jeff Sikora, Board Chair of Second Harvest Food Bank. Photo by: Mike Rhodes
“For more than thirty years Second Harvest has worked with more than one-hundred pantry partners in our eight county region to meet the needs of those who didn’t know where their next meal would come from. While we have always advocated for hunger related issues and provided educational programs, a significant portion of our efforts have been focused on getting food to people in need. This merger with TEAMwork for Quality Living significantly enhances our message of self-sufficiency and represents the practical application of what Help for Today and Hope for Tomorrow looks like in real terms,” stated Second Harvest President & CEO, Tim Kean.
“This merger allows both organizations to strengthen the important work we do for Delaware County and East Central Indiana,” stated TEAMwork for Quality Living Executive Director, Molly Flodder. “We are thrilled this merger will allow us to continue our way of addressing problems while being part of a larger mission. We know that our successful tools built on relationships, knowledge and partnerships will continue the successes we have witnessed, as well as expand the mission of Second Harvest,” she continued.
As of July 1, 2016, TEAMwork staff members will become employees of Second Harvest and the organization will operate with one board of directors with representation from both organizations. Tim Kean, the current President & CEO of Second Harvest Food Bank will be the lead staff person. Molly Flodder, the current Executive Director for TEAMwork for Quality Living will continue to lead that organization through the end of their fiscal year, until her retirement on June 30th, 2016.
To more accurately reflect the diverse family of services of the combined organization, Second Harvest Food Bank has initiated a re-branding strategy which will result in a new organization name and overall brand.
Second Harvest and TEAMwork will live on through specific programs and services. The outcomes of this effort will be announced around the time of the merger date.
The Second Harvest Food Bank network of 110-member agencies and programs provides food assistance to more than 74,000 low-income individuals in Blackford, Delaware, Grant, Henry, Jay, Madison, Randolph and Wabash Counties in East Central Indiana. In 2015 they coordinated the distribution of nearly 8 million pounds of food. TEAMwork for Quality Living was founded in 1996 as a grassroots nonprofit organization to bring together and support Delaware County volunteers in their efforts to build a stronger community. Over the years they have focused their efforts on helping people move from surviving to thriving. Their anti-poverty work, affiliated with what is now Circles® USA, began in 2006.