By Tina Snell, Staff Writer
Beginning July 1, and throughout the month, the fifth annual “Open Your Heart to the Hungry and Homeless” summer challenge will take place. The grant money will supplement participating food shelves across Central Minnesota a minimum of $150, depending on the amount of money raised during the month.
Grants will be awarded based on the food shelves’ monetary contributions received during July. The $150,000 grant is available to all food shelves which are members of Hunger Solutions, a division of Second Harvest, the Central Minnesota Food Bank.
In 2013, the Morrison County Food Shelf, which helps the communities of Bowlus, Swanville, Upsala, Sobieski, Flensburg, Roy-alton, Randall, Fort Ripley, Freedhem and Little Falls, received $500 to purchase food for local residents.
Each food shelf must raise a minimum of $150 to receive a portion of the $150,000 grant.
Across Minnesota, one in five families with children face hunger or food insecurity. That means children do not always receive three meals a day. Many times this happens during the summer vacation when there is no access to free or reduced school meals.
During the first five months of 2013, the Morrison County Food Shelf helped 1,982 families. During the same period in 2014, it helped 2,062 families, a 4 percent increase. In all of 2013, 13,909 families were helped at the food shelf and 222 of those were new clients. More than 400,000 pounds of food were distributed.
For easier donating, the Morrison County Food Shelf now accepts PayPal donations.
The Morrison County Food Shelf is located at 912 First Ave. SW in Little Falls. For more information, contact Executive Director Gloria Thomes at (320) 632-8304.