The Sleepy Eye Area Food Shelf, along with area civic organizations, are sponsoring an annual food collection drive.

The Sleepy Eye Area Food Shelf, along with area civic organizations, are sponsoring an annual food collection drive.

 

Bags will be distributed to residents on Saturday, March 15 and the following weekend, March 22, the bags that are left on door steps will be collected.

 

In 1985, the Sleepy Eye Ministerial Association wisely saw a need and acted upon it–providing the stimulus for the creation of the Sleepy Eye Area Food Shelf.

 

Nearly 30 years later, the food shelf continues to help individuals or families going through a transition, a crisis or perhaps a long-term struggle due to low income.

 

In the meantime, assistance from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, has seen a decrease in benefits of $8 billion over the next 10 years. That equates to $90 less a month for an average family of four. This will affect over 850,000 households nationwide or a loss of 34 meals per month, according to Feeding America.

 

In 2013, the food shelf served 496 households, totaling 2,071 individuals. Over 31,000 pounds of food was distributed to families in Sleepy Eye.

 

“Seeing those numbers makes me so thankful we are here to serve those individuals,” said food shelf director Josephine Rose.

 

The problem with hunger is that it is a silent burden. In the land of plenty, Minnesotan’s have a proud tradition of making sure that our neighbors have enough to eat, and that their children do not go to bed hungry.

According to Hunger Free Minnesota, hunger has doubled in Minnesota over the last five years. One in 10 Minnesotans misses 10 meals per month. Many people are forced to make choices between food and other necessities such as housing, utilities and health care.

 

Children account for 40 percent of Minnesota’s hungry.

Nonperishable food items that are not expired that are needed at the food shelf include canned fruit juices, hot cereals, dry cereals, dry powdered milk, canned milk, heart soups, canned fish, canned meat and poultry, peanut butter, dry peas and beans, canned vegetables, canned fruit, rice, pasta, canned or boxed main dishes, spaghetti sauces, baked beans, hash, chili, stews, crackers, sugar, flour, coffee, tea, hot chocolate, complete baking mixes, toilet paper and soaps.

 

Monetary donations given to the food shelf are used to buy discounted products and programs through Second Harvest Food Bank of Minnesota. Donation checks can be made out to the Sleepy Eye Area Food Shelf.

 

The food shelf is located in the basement level of the police station at 130 2nd Ave., NW. It is open on Mondays from 4-6 p.m. or until all have been served. If there is an emergency no one will be turned away.

 

There are no eligibility requirements for the Sleepy Eye Area Food