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Several donations contribute to CHUM food shelf renovation

The project is using time and material donations from more than 20 entities around the state.

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Floors at the CHUM Food Shelf at 120 N. 1st Ave West in Duluth are pictured before their replacement as part of a Leadership Duluth service project renovation. Submitted photo.

CHUM's food shelf is in the process of getting its first renovation since before CHUM took over the building in 1981.

A group of Leadership Duluth participants committed to the service project, which began Saturday, and has received about $50,000 in either cash or donations for the project.

“When the group approached me I was really excited. The building really hasn’t been touched since CHUM bought it in 1981, so we knew that it needed a lot of updates,” said Scott Van Daele, director of distributive services at CHUM. “To see a group of people that didn’t know much about our organization jump into action and get the response that they have has been amazing. It really makes you feel good to see people want to give back, and make a difference. The Leadership Duluth group and all of the donors have blown my mind. Our space is going to be so inviting and welcoming not only to our clients, volunteers, and to potential donors. I can’t wait to see how it looks when it’s done.”

Matt Privette, a local realtor with Real Living Messina and Associates, is a part of the team that choose to take on the project, using time and material donations from more than 20 entities around the state.

“I am honored to be a part of this group. Our group saw the need to renovate the Food Shelf early in our program. It was clear that they needed help in reaching out to resources, and we have been happy to provide that,” Privette said. “The response that we have gotten by reaching out to local businesses to help has been incredible. The scope of our project has gone by leaps and bounds because so many have wanted to give back to CHUM because of the impact that they have had in our community. One of the cool pieces is how many of the donors have come on hard times themselves, many in the past have actually benefited from CHUM’s food shelf or know people who have. Many have jumped at the chance to help out, and have offered to reach out to their networks to help too.”

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The renovation includes painting and patching walls, new bathroom fixtures, new furniture and numerous other things. Summit Signs donated a new sign that's already up. St. Germain's Glass Co. is building a new front door. A Cloquet-based company, Asbestos Control Consulting Team, donated $6,500 and time to remove asbestos from the flooring. Union members from St. Germain's and ACCT are donating time.

“I like to do a certain amount of donations every year. I’ve been adapting all of my charitable donations on a local level,” said ACCT owner Steve Proulx. “CHUM fit all of the boxes that I look for in giving to an organization. We are lucky to have a good business and a good income them because of our community. It’s great to give back. Six of my eight employees volunteered to do this work for free. That really touched me that they wanted to take this on. I’m ready proud to have them as staff.”

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