Minnesota FoodShare March Campaign multiplies donationsOne local food shelf goes through 10 tons of food per month and serves 2,100 households. Another serves 6,900 families in the Duluth area. The potential of children going hungry is real and the need is great.
By: Budgeteer News Staff, Duluth Budgeteer News
One local food shelf goes through 10 tons of food per month and serves 2,100 households. Another serves 6,900 families in the Duluth area. The potential of children going hungry is real and the need is great.
Fortunately, so is the spirit of giving, and this month, area food shelves will get a bonus for all donations with matching gifts through the Minnesota FoodShare March Campaign.
“Families shouldn’t have to decide between food and heat or rent. A five-day supply of groceries from our food shelf makes a huge difference for a family in a tough situation,” Major Bill Cox, commander of the Salvation Army-Duluth said in a statement. “And because we can access discount products and programs, this match opportunity in March allows us to stretch dollars even further. Every gift, large or small, makes a big difference.”
Last year, the Duluth Salvation Army Food Shelf supplied more than 81,000 meals to 6,900 needy people, an increase of 21.7 percent over the previous year.
“We’re grateful for our partnership with Minnesota FoodShare,” Cox said of the statewide campaign serving more than 300 food shelves, “and we’re asking for help from friends again this year so that we will have adequate food for every needy family that comes to us for help.”
Money raised through the Minnesota FoodShare campaign accounts for nearly 40 percent of the CHUM food shelf’s annual operating income. CHUM needs about 10 tons of food per month, food shelf director Meg Kearns said, and in 2011, the food shelf distributed groceries to 2,100 households, providing an estimated 231,045 meals, up 16 percent from the year before. A troubling trend is the increase in two-parent families and those considered working poor who now need food shelf assistance to feed their families.
Because it can use special discounts, the food shelf can get food for an average of 28 cents per pound, up 8 cents per pound a year ago. So while food donations are always welcome, cash gifts are especially critical because perishable food items such as meat, bread and eggs can be accessed locally from the Second Harvest Northern Lakes Food Bank for an average 4-cents-per-pound shared maintenance fee for transportation, storage and handling of donated food.
“Even though the match is not one-to-one, just knowing your gift will go further does motivate folks to donate during March” when food shelf stocks tend be low, but this year are emptier than usual, added Kearns.
All donations to Duluth food shelves remain in the community. To help:
To make a food donation to the CHUM food shelf, which has locations in downtown Duluth and West Duluth, call Meg Kearns at (218) 727-2391. Checks made out to CHUM Food Shelf may be mailed to CHUM Food Shelf, 102 W. Second St., Duluth MN 55802. Donations may be made online at www.chumduluth.org.
Donations by check, made out to The Salvation Army with “food” in the memo portion, may be dropped off at or mailed to The Salvation Army, 215 S. 27th Ave. West, Duluth MN 55806. Donate online at www.saduluth.org. For credit card donations, call (218)722-7934.
Other Duluth food shelves:
Union Gospel Mission, (218) 722-1196, duluth-ugm.org, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Vineyard Church, (218) 525-3462, www.duluthvineyard.org, email@example.com
Donations to the Second Harvest Northern Lakes Food Bank will also be matched through the campaign. Send donations to Second Harvest Northern Lakes Food Bank, 4503 Airpark Boulevard, Duluth MN 55811. (Phone (218)727-5653; email: firstname.lastname@example.org.) Donate online at www.northernlakesfoodbank.org.
Duluth News Tribune reporter Mike Creger contributed to this report.