Fourth annual ‘Open Your Heart to the Hungry’ set for July

Grant program from Hunger Solutions to help local families

By Tina SnellStaff Writer

The Morrison County Food Shelf in Little Falls is again participating in the “Open Your Heart to the Hungry and Homeless” grant program. This is the fourth year food shelves in the Second Harvest distribution area have the opportunity to participate for a portion of $150,000 offered by Hunger Solutions in St. Paul. The amount is a 50 percent increase over last year’s grant.

Grants are awarded based on the food shelves’ monetary contributions brought in during July. No food contributions will be considered for the grant. The $150,000 will be awarded based on what percentage of funds each food shelf raises relative to other food shelves.

“This is a proportional match,” said Morrison County Food Shelf Executive Director Gloria Thomes. “The more money we raise, the more grant funding we could receive.”

The minimum award is $150 and the maximum would be $5,000.

Last year the Morrison County Food Shelf participated in the “Open Your Heart to the Hungry and Homeless” program and received $360 after raising $4,480.

Thomes said the average number of people visiting the Morrison County Food Shelf has remained steady. In May 2012, 470 people were helped. This May, 437 people were helped and there were 14 new clients.

“Each month, the Food Shelf distributes 25,000 – 40,000 pounds of food. The food is donated from individuals, Second Harvest Heartland and local businesses,” said Thomes. “Yesterday (Tuesday), we distributed 4,372 pounds of food.”

Thomes said this summer program helps alleviate the stress of having to feed a family when the children are home from school.

“Many children eat both breakfast and lunch at school and when they are home for the summer, it puts an extra burden on families,” she said.

Funds may be dropped off, or mailed to, the Morrison County Food Shelf at 912 First Ave. S.W., Little Falls, 56345, during the month of July.

For more information about “Open Your Heart to the Hungry and Homeless,” contact Thomes at [email protected] or call the Morrison County Food Shelf at (320) 632-8304.