Help restock the food shelves

Dear Editor:

The month of March receives statewide publicity and support through Minnesota Food Share March Campaign for all local food shelves. The promotion highlights the need local food shelves have to restock as well as information about varying forms of percent matching dollars and food. The two largest matching incentives are from Minnesota Food Share and also from the Alan Feinstein Foundation of Rhode Island, who pledges $1 million nationwide each year to the food shelves across the country.

The theme this year is “Fill 300 food shelves – Mission Impossible?  Not if you help.”

Last year Family Pathways’ nine locations saw a 24 percent increase over 2009. At times it did seem like “Mission Impossible” trying to keep pace, but with the communities support it was possible. We distributed a record 1.5 million pounds of food. And yet, hunger has not been conquered. Through the March Campaign, giving food or money to your local food shelf is the perfect way for donors to stretch the value of their donation, while helping people during their greatest hour of need.  Three times as many people in our community are visiting food shelves and soup kitchens than they were just five years ago.

Fifty-six percent of households served each year are families with children and 20 percent are seniors. More than 50 percent of adult food shelf visitors are employed and 65 percent make less than $1,000 a month.

Please help encourage people you know struggling to reach out and ask for assistance at your local food shelf.

When you shop, purchase those pre-packaged bags of food for the food shelves; plan to plant extra this spring to share with your local food shelf; come out and volunteer at your food shelf or make a financial donation.

Please help those in need.  Many of us need your help, and especially right now.

Kathy Wills, Manager

Family Pathways Food Shelves