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Local man recognized for making mighty impact
Aaron Fisher of Ephrata has been making a mighty impact in the area for the past several years and now he’s being recognized for it.
Fisher is the director of the Blessings of Hope food distribution ministry in Ephrata. He is also the winner of a national campaign conducted by Auntie Anne’s that asked the public to nominate someone who has performed a “Mini Act with a Mighty Impact.”
Valerie Kinney, director of communications for Auntie Anne’s, said the company was founded in 1988 and began with a farmer’s market stand and has always been about “giving back.”
She said the company also wanted to spotlight its “mini” pretzel items – Mini Pretzel Dogs and Nuggets.
“We wanted to recognize individuals giving back in the areas they lived,” she said. “It was a natural tie-in, ‘mini-act, mighty impact.’”
Kinney said the contest was advertised on-line and anyone in the country was eligible. They could nominate themselves or be nominated by someone.
Kinney said it was the first time for the contest and they received approximately 400 nominations. She said a selection committee then chose a Top 10 and the public picked the winner, Fisher.
“He is making a big impact in the community,” she said. “He has 100 volunteers helping him pack food each week.”
Kinney said it was great to receive nominations from all over the United States, however, it was a neat tie-in that the winner of the contest is located in Lancaster County, which is where Auntie Anne’s is headquartered.
“Obviously that is something that we had not planned for,” she said.
Blessings of Hope is a food distribution warehouse that was setup to allow large food distributors to efficiently donate to the community, according to its website.
The food is received, stored, and redistributed to smaller food ministries, outreaches and families in need in the community.
In 2013, Blessings of Hope distributed over 3 million pounds of food to other food banks, ministries, churches and families.
Fisher said Blessings of Hope came about when they were starting a new ministry and things were tight financially. He said someone came in with a couple of bags of food and said, “I’m going to connect you with how to get more food.”
Fisher said he was introduced to a food outreach in Harrisburg, where he started getting food and that it helped his own family in 2006-07, and things just took off from there.
“The last four years things have really expanded tremendously,” he said.
“In a nut shell what we do is get food from warehouses, stores and farmers and then every Wednesday we have an outreach for people who are struggling financially and supply them with a box of food,” Fisher said.
Fisher said they pack about 300 boxes each week for individual families and another 300-400 boxes for organizations that work with people that are struggling financially. He said also every Tuesday and Thursday food pantries come and get food they need.
Fisher is thrilled with the recognition and said the whole experience has been “wonderful.”
He was nominated by David Lapp, who is on the board at Blessings of Hope. Fisher said he wanted to thank everyone who voted for him, especially all the volunteers who help out and everyone else.
“There were a lot of people who helped out with my winning,” he said. “It was not only my effort that got me to win.”
Dena Reedy is a staff writer for The Ephrata Review. She welcomes your questions and comments and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 721-4434.