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Our View: Good job, Sen. Bakk

After raising an average of about $76,875 a year for food shelves in Northeastern Minnesota, state Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk of Cook tallied up an impressive $135,000 in donations this week during his annual “Stock the Shelves” fundraiser. The new contributions brought to more than $750,000 the amount Bakk has raised in nine years.

This year’s successful fundraiser was held in the Liffey Irish Pub in downtown St. Paul. Gov. Mark Dayton was among those who attended.

“I’m proud to help raise money for the Arrowhead Region food shelves,” Bakk said in a statement. “Even with a recovering economy throughout the state and nation, job losses on the Iron Range mean more families are stretched to the limit. We are doing our part to help, and I hope all Minnesotans will take time to help others this holiday season.”

Colleen Moriarty, executive director of the St. Paul-based Hunger Solutions Minnesota, said, “For many people, holiday meals are celebratory experiences that foster deeper connections between family and friends. But for thousands of Minnesota families, it’s a source of anxiety and fear because they don’t know if they can afford their next meal. We appreciate this terrific support for low-income families from Sen. Bakk and our sponsors.”

Even more appreciative may be the food shelves benefiting from the annual effort. They include Aurora-Hoyt Lakes-Biwabik-Area Food Shelf, Chisholm Area Food Shelf, Ely Area Food Shelf, Grand Marais Food Shelf, Proctor Area Food Shelf, Silver Bay Area Food Shelf, Tower Area Food Shelf, Babbitt Food Shelf, Quad City Food Shelf-Gilbert, Cook Community Food Shelf, Elijah’s Pantry-Two Harbors, Falls Hunger Coalition, Orr Food Shelf, Salvation Army International Falls, Salvation Army Virginia, Two Harbors Area Food Shelf, Salvation Army Hibbing and Hermantown Food Shelf.

Well done, Senator and sponsors of the annual fundraiser. Way to set the bar even higher for next year.