Happy New Year from The Dignity Center!

Dear friends,

Happy New Year! Can you believe it? 2021 is finally here! After a long year filled with the chaos and stress of COVID-19, racial injustices and pervasiveness of white supremacy, and a tumultuous election cycle, I am relieved to welcome in a new season with new possibilities. Even though the first few weeks of the new year have unveiled unprecedented levels of nationalism and violence, I still have hope that the coming months will bring renewed energy, peace, and rest. 

At The Dignity Center, the new year means cultivating new opportunities and building on the old. I am excited about our newest outreach project, "Dignity on the Road," which will bring the services of The Dignity Center to individuals who cannot come to our physical location. I hope that this new undertaking will allow us to connect with new participants and volunteers! With your support, we will be able to formally launch "Dignity on the Road" within the year.

All of us at The Dignity Center are also excited about the possibility of developing new relationships with church and community partners in 2021! We currently have nineteen formal church partnerships, and many more partnerships with community organizations such as St. Thomas University and the Minneapolis Department of Health. Our church and community partners support our participants through financial donations and in-kind donations, such as hot meals, warm clothing, and volunteer hours. We could not do what we do without the support of our community partners - and we are always looking to grow our network! Are you or your community interested in joining The Dignity Center's support network? Let us know! Email us at TheDignityCenter@gmail.com for more information about how to get connected. We look forward to hearing from you!

As we settle back into our rhythm in this new year, may we not forget the hard lessons we learned in 2020: about maintaining relationships through distance, about working for racial justice, and about the importance of democratic participation. May your new year bring moments of joy and meaning, and may we be strengthened in our work together as we continue supporting our participants on their path to stability.

With hope,
Mary Martin, Director of The Dignity Center

Community Partner Spotlight: Appetite for Change!

Meet one of our community partners, Appetite for Change! Throughout the pandemic, Appetite for Change has been supporting our participants with hot meals and healthy food. Since April, The Breaking Bread team at Appetite for Change has partnered with Minnesota Central Kitchen to share 8500 meals a week with community organizations. Appetite for Change explains that "staff time, kitchen space, and ingredients have been redirected to bring free and flavorful meals to our community." Through their hard work and partnerships with local organizations, Appetite for Change has distributed 100,000 meals to the community!

As one of our community partners, Appetite for Change has been a major support to The Dignity Center as we committed to staying open throughout the changes and challenges brought on by COVID-19. Appetite for Change is dedicated to their mission: "Using food as a tool to build health, wealth and social change." Our partnership with Appetite for Change has nourished and strengthened our participants, so that they can continue on their journey towards stability. 

Since the pandemic began in March, our participants have struggled to stay healthy and well fed. As Appetite for Change aptly notes, "The already-fraught pathways to accessing fresh and nutritious food have also been challenged as underemployment, mobility limitations, violence in our neighborhoods, and the closure of local grocery stores compound to make nourishing our bodies more difficult." For our participants, it is not only the closure of grocery stores but also the closure of community spaces such as libraries and social service organizations that have complicated their daily experience. The Dignity Center has been one of only a few free community spaces that remained open during the pandemic. Thanks to our community partners like Appetite for Change, we have continued to be a safe space for our participants to gather during the day. Especially in the winter, our ability to remain open has been a blessing for our community members who would otherwise struggle to find a warm, safe, friendly environment. 

We are so grateful for all of the hard work and dedication of the Appetite for Change staff and volunteers! Our work is made possible through their resources, contributions, and partnership. You can learn more about Appetite for Change at their website or by watching this video, and you can learn more about our community partners at http://haumc.org/dignity-network. Thank you, Appetite for Change, for supporting us as we support our participants! 

The Dignity Center is a Ministry of
Hennepin Avenue United Methodist Church
The Dignity Center is located at 425 Groveland Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55403  |  612-435-1315
Visit us Monday, Wednesday, Friday  |  9am to noon
Like us on Facebook  View on Instagram  Follow us on Twitter .View our videos on YouTube