Community-wide Food Drive underway

Help make a difference in the lives of the hungry.

The third annual Community-Wide Food Drive to benefit the Family Pathways Food Shelf in Cambridge is underway.

Jason Southworth, coordinator of the Cambridge Food Shelf, explained that during March Minnesota FoodShare Month, donations count even more.

“Our goal for the food drive is to get enough donations from the community to feed Isanti County for one month,” Southworth said. “So we are hoping to receive 50,000 pounds of food to keep the food shelf self-sustainable for one month.”

Family Pathways Cambridge Food Shelf volunteers Misty Schwagerl and Kurtis Andres and are ready to accept your food shelf donations.
Family Pathways Cambridge Food Shelf volunteers Misty Schwagerl and Kurtis Andres and are ready to accept your food shelf donations. Photo by Rachel Kytonen

Community members are encouraged to drop off nonperishable food items at John Hirsch’s Cambridge Motors, Family Pathways Thrift Store in Cambridge and Minnco Credit Union in Cambridge during regular business hours. Perishable and nonperishable food items can be dropped off at the Family Pathways Food Shelf in Cambridge 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. Donations will be accepted through Friday, April 5.

During the month of March, the Feinstein Foundation will match a percentage of donations received. Southworth also said every $1 donated allows the food shelf to purchase $8 in food.

Each month, the food shelf averages 50 to 60 new families, Southworth said. In January, the food shelf had 568 family visits, consisting of 1,615 individuals, and 60,671 pounds of food were distributed.

“The new face of hunger isn’t the type of people you’d expect to be using a food shelf,” Southworth said. “The new face of hunger is your friends, neighbors and family members. Everyone knows someone close to them that has been touched by hunger. This is why the food shelf is here. We need the community to step up and help our fellow family members, friends and neighbors.”

Southworth also wants to remind community members that anytime purchases are made at any of the Family Pathways thrift stores, those proceeds go to support Family Pathways programs such as the food shelves, senior services, teen centers and staff.

Southworth encourages businesses and other organizations within the community to host their own food drive to help benefit the community.

“Together we can make a great impact on our local fight against hunger,” Southworth said. “We also need to think about our children, and each night, children in our community are going to bed hungry, and seniors who have helped others all their lives now don’t have enough food for themselves. The community really needs to step up and help in the fight against hunger.”

If you would like to make a cash donation to the Family Pathways Food Shelf in Cambridge, checks can be made to the Cambridge Food Shelf and sent to P. O. Box 272, Cambridge, MN 55008. The Family Pathways Food Shelf is located at 1575 First Ave. E (on Highway 95 next to Northbound Liquor) and can be reached at 763-552-7284.