Friday, March 23, 2012

Help to feed the hungry here at home

March is Minnesota FoodShare Month.

The annual March campaign is the largest food drive in the state — uniting corporations, faith communities, schools and civic groups to raise money and food for the state’s food shelves. More than 510,000 Minnesotans receive food support. Between 2008 and 2010, statewide visits to food shelves increased 62 percent.

“Catholic Charities Emergency Services Food Shelf usage has doubled in the last five years,” said Trina Dietz, communications specialist for Catholic Charities in the St. Cloud Diocese. “People using the food shelf currently tell us that, in previous years, they were among those who used to donate.”

“Pack the Porch at Pioneer Place,” a community-wide food drive to benefit Catholic Charities Emergency Services Food Shelf, takes place Friday, March 30, from 6 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Pioneer Place on Fifth, 22 5th Ave. S, St. Cloud.

The goal of this unique drive is to fill the entire veranda at Pioneer Place with food. Please consider donating shelf-stable food items or money to assist with this important effort — you can even drop off items without getting out of your car. Most food shelves have the ability to purchase four to nine times as much as the average consumer at the grocery store so money is greatly appreciated as well. (And, all participants will be treated to a cup of coffee.)

Minnesota FoodShare, an interfaith collaboration that fights hunger, gathers donations from corporations to use as incentive funds for Minnesota food shelves. The more food and cash an agency collects at events such as this one, the more incentive funds they receive and the more hungry families they can feed. US Bank will be providing a $2,500 matching gift donation for this event.

Please add the date to your calendar and do what you can to help “pack the porch” at Pioneer Place next Friday.

In the upcoming video, Sara Nelson-Pallmeyer, director of the Minnesota FoodShare, discusses the widespread problem of food insecurity in Minnesota and how the situation differs from hunger issues in the rest of the world. CJK

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