THE MINNESOTA VIKINGS FOUNDATION IS STEPPING UP FOR THEIR COMMUNITYPosted on April 22, 2020 by National Sports Forum | Selling It | SUBSCRIBE
THE MINNESOTA VIKINGS FOUNDATION IS STEPPING UP FOR THEIR COMMUNITY
The Minnesota Vikings Foundation is making big plays off the field during the coronavirus pandemic.
By: Chris Reik & Ryan Luong
Dear Faithful Readers,
We hope that everyone and their loved ones are staying safe during these very uncertain times. As sports fans & the members of the sports industry, I know we are all yearning for the day that our favorite teams are able to play again. However, the camaraderie I have witnessed during these unprecedented times reminds me how strong our industry is and how we are all in this together. Again, I hope everyone continues to stay safe and I’m excited to get back to live games when it is safe to do so.
On this edition of the Selling It feature, we take a look at how the Minnesota Vikings are helping their community during these times with their program “Vikings Table”.
Marketing and Communications Manager
The Minnesota Vikings Foundation is Stepping Up For Their Community
In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, the Minnesota Vikings Foundation wanted to be a shining light through this metaphorical darkness. The Foundation wanted to give back to the locals of Minnesota by providing the people, specifically the youth, with the proper health and education needed to progress through these difficult times. Vikings Table, presented by Xcel Energy, is a custom built food truck program that provides free healthy meals and nutrition education to those at risk in the community. The Vikings Foundation Program Coordinator Monterae Carter said, “we wanted to keep showing up for (the kids) and making sure they still knew that we cared about them even though we couldn’t physically be there.”
The Vikings Table program launched in June of 2019 and typically operates during the warm months and any time period youth are out of school. Under the current circumstances, the Foundation made the necessary precautions to handle issues such as crowd control and ensure that everyone could reap the benefits of the program. One hundred meals are prepared on Vikings Table daily that include well-balanced food options and activity pages. These meals are sent out every week day and are properly cared for by the partners in the transfer from the Vikings Foundation to the recipients. In recent months, increasing care has been taken to make sure that the processing would not put anyone in danger. The plan is to give back to the community and prove to be the beacon of hope for the children, still giving them something to look forward to as the current state of the world continues to unfold.
(Pictured is a photo of Vikings running back, Dalvin Cook, working a truck from last Summer)
The initial partnership was with Xcel Energy during the opening of this initiative. Xcel Energy worked to sponsor the Vikings Table program by providing energy efficiencies to the vehicle and resources to the participants of the program. Xcel Energy also provide the bags for the lunches that are distributed during the pandemic. The non-profit Open Door also partnered with the Vikings Foundation for this program by directly distributing the meals to the children and young adults who they are in contact with. Alongside with the food being served, Open Door offers, “services that include large scale produce distributions in a neighborhood that’s about eight minutes from (the) facilities”. The Link is another non-profit partner started by two former Vikings players, Jim Marshall and Oscar Reed, whose main focus is on the homeless and providing youth with essential living materials. This is a demographic that is suffering even more so in the results of the recent events. Through these partnerships, The Vikings Foundation is working to create the optimal potential to give back to the community.
Since the program is newly revised for this year, in light of current situations, the results will vary from the previous year. In 2019, Vikings Table partnered with 19 nonprofits in the community and served over 4,000 free healthy meals. The program also had a large media presence with over $2 million in earned media and a reach of 42 million viewers. The work being put in by the combination of the teams from the Minnesota Vikings Foundation and their partners will not go unnoticed in the community as they hope to be a catalyst of good fortune for the community. On Friday of this week, Vikings Table will have provided 2,000 much needed free meals during the pandemic. The real satisfaction comes with the lifted spirits of those receiving fresh meals.
As the world continues to battle with COVID-19, the Vikings Foundation and entirety of the team will continue to be the hope and opportunity in the community moving forward. The organization will continue to provide the meals under strict health guidelines to ensure everyone involved is safe and healthy.
For more information regarding the Minnesota Vikings Foundation and the Vikings Table, please contact Monterae Carter, Foundation Programs Coordinator at CarterM@vikings.nfl.net
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