Food in the fridge is not a given for every county kid

By Ron Hinnenkamp, Guest Columinst

I just went to the refrigerator to grab something to eat. I could choose from a variety of options. Sounds normal, doesn’t it?

For many of our fellow residents in Morrison County that is not always the case.  According to the latest census data, over 13 percent of our residents are below the poverty level. That level varies by family size, but the amount is $22,000 or less in income for a family of four.

To take it one more step, over 1,000 kids in our county are in households that fit in that category. In those households, the choices in the fridge aren’t always there.

Without getting too political, isn’t that a shame in our great country? We can all point to reasons for this, but pointing and reasoning doesn’t put food on the table.

“Kids in these high-poverty areas are at risk for health and developmental challenges in almost every aspect of their lives, from education to their chances for economic success as adults,” said Laura Speer, associate director for policy reform and data at the Casey Foundation. The Kids Count Data Snapshot, using 2010 Census data, was recently released by the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

It is a long-term problem, needing long-term solutions. But, in the short term, we can help. Our local food shelf needs your help.

March is Food Share Month. Our food shelf will receive some matching funds, for any collected locally, from Minnesota Food Share. Those matching funds come from corporate giving. Your contribution to the Little Falls Morrison County Food Shelf will go a long way to help, and it will be greatly appreciated.

Note: The Little Falls Morrison County Shelf is sponsoring a fundraiser at the Little Falls Ballroom Saturday, March 15, featuring the Justin Ploof Band. For more information and to purchase tickets, call (320) 632-5667.

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