Thousands of concerned, compassionate Minnesotans came together to support those in need during the 2013 March Campaign, raising more than $8.3 million and almost four million pounds of food.
Thousands of concerned, compassionate Minnesotans came together to support those in need during the 2013 March Campaign, raising more than $8.3 million and almost four million pounds of food. That is the equivalent of a year's worth of meals for more than 7,700 families of four.
Nearly 300 food shelfs throughout the state began receiving a portion of $775,000 from Minnesota FoodShare. According to food shelf director Josephine Rose, Sleepy Eye is one of those food shelves that receives some of those funds.
Rose noted that each year the food shelf does receive a small donation from the Minnesota FoodShare to be used specifically to purchase food and restock the food supply. Rose noted that since reopening after an eight-month closure due to a water main break that flooded the food shelf, she has seen an increase in customers.
Families that rely on free or reduced-price lunches during the school year turn to food shelves during the summer to help make ends meet. In addition, food shelf donations tend to drop off during the summer months because people are busy with vacations, trips to the cabin and other activities, according to Minnesota FoodShare.
Even with the increase in families and individuals served, Rose said while the food supplies are being used, they have enough to serve those that they do. However, she added that the annual Halloween and Thanksgiving food drives are very much needed and appreciated.
"Our honor students who "trick-or-treat" for the food shelf and the area churches that conduct food drives for the Thanksgiving holiday are our angels," Rose added.
Minnesota FoodShare also supports food shelves statewide in a variety of ways throughout the year. On Aug. 13-15, the program will be partnering with many groups to present a Food Access Summit in Duluth. Focusing on expanding access to healthy foods for underserved Minnesotans, the conference will feature a variety of speakers and topics designed to stimulate discussion and motivate action from food shelfs, schools, food producers and distributors and policymakers.