Engaging the community to end hunger in north central Minnesota
Thursday, March 3, 2011
The March FoodShare Campaign is Underway!
During the month of March, the Grand Rapids Food Shelf is joining with over 300 food shelves across Minnesota to collect donations of money and food. These donations will support local efforts to help feed people in need and reduce hunger in our community. When congregations, businesses, schools or service clubs participate in the March FoodShare Campaign, the Food Shelf will make sure that the food and funds collected provides hunger assistance for people in our community who need it most.
This year, the theme of the Grand Rapids Food Shelf’s March FoodShare Campaign is “Do You Know the Face of Hunger?” “Yes you do, because one out of nine families in the greater Grand Rapids area turn to the Food Shelf for assistance,” according to Ellen Christmas, Grand Rapids Food Shelf Program Manager. “In order to keep the shelves stocked and meet the need, we count on local support to provide food and hope to many desperate families trying to keep food on the table. Every effort or contribution, large or small, helps us to continue to feed people. March is the time of year we can leverage additional dollars for the food shelf through donations because of the FoodShare Campaign and the Feinstein Challenge,” she added.
In 2010, the Grand Rapids Food Shelf provided food to an average of 783 households each month. That amounts to over 2,000 individuals served, of which 38% were children under the age of 18. Families turn to the food shelf to provide food and meals that would otherwise be skipped or missed altogether.
The Food Shelf distributed close to 256 tons of food during 2010 and much of this work was accomplished with the assistance of volunteers. “Our work could not be as effective as it is without our gracious volunteers and generous support from throughout the entire community,” says Christmas. Every March, Minnesota FoodShare, a program of the Greater Minneapolis Council of Churches, organizes Minnesota's largest food and fund drive for the hungry. FoodShare is a grass-roots driven food and fund drive that raises awareness about hunger in Minnesota where statistics show 1 in 8 children do not have enough food to eat. All food and funds contributed locally stay in the area but are counted towards the statewide goal of 12 million pounds and dollars. The Grand Rapids Food Shelf has set a combined goal of 80,000 pounds and dollars to be collected throughout March.
Christmas encourages the community to help our local food shelf and says “now more than ever the Food Shelf provides an important safety net to those that are hungry, right here in our community. If like us, you feel hunger experienced by our most vulnerable citizens is unacceptable, now is your chance to act and help us reach our March Campaign goal.” Food and cash donations received throughout the month of March will count toward our goal of 80,000.