PRISM Food Shelf Receives $7K Donation for Emergency Freezer Fix

An emergency at a Golden Valley food shelf was quickly brought to an end thanks to the charitable giving of a global business just down the street.

Last Monday, workers at PRISM came in to find the nonprofit’s main freezer had stopped working. They had received notifications from temperature sensors all weekend that led them to believe there was a problem. When they arrived, they found no fans working and a block of ice formed around important components of the mechanism that powers those fans.

“It needed to be fully cleaned out and emptied in order for us to diagnose and fully fix the problem,” said Alisha Weis, PRISM’s advancement director.
“We had to act quickly and be nimble and adaptable to make sure our operations maintained throughout the week and that we were able to serve the 600 families that came through the food shelf last week,” Weis added.

That effort included moving food to freezers at two other nearby food shelves.

It also meant fundraising.

PRISM leaders quickly realized the broken freezer would take approximately $15,000 to repair. They sent out emails and social media posts to community partners, asking for help.

“We’re very transparent,” said Weis. “[We] kind of pulled the curtain back and said here’s the issue, here’s the challenge, and we could not have imagined the response we got from the community. It was fabulous.”

Donations from First International Bank and Trust, the Golden Valley Rotary Club, and individual donations quickly added up to several thousand dollars.

When representatives from Allianz Life, a Golden Valley-based international life insurance company, heard about what had happened, the company’s director of community engagement, Kenna Poppler, got in touch with Weis.

“I reached out to Alisha and said, ‘Hey, where are you? What is it that you need? Do you need volunteers? How much money are you looking for?’” said Poppler. “When she said, ‘We need $7,000 to close that gap,’ we thought: that’s something we can do.”

“I cried some tears knowing we didn’t have to spend as much time focusing on fundraising,” said Weis. “We could spend time on getting the freezer up and running and providing the food to the community, so it was a great support.”

Poppler said Allianz employees volunteer at PRISM and help raise money and donations for the cause all year. An Allianz employee is also on PRISM’s board.

“We want to be part of a thriving community, and by supporting PRISM, that’s how we do that,” said Poppler.

Other than less frozen meat being available last week, Weis said PRISM’s clients didn’t see much in the way of a disruption in service.

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Please direct media inquiries to Alisha Weis, Advancement Director

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