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Minnesota Yearly Food Drive Kicks Off

February 29, 2008

Minneapolis, MN – As the pressure of hunger continues, Minnesota's 26th annual March food drive gets underway this weekend. The goal is to boost supplies at more than 300 food shelves across the state.

Campaign coordinator Sue Kainz with Minnesota Food Share says this year's effort is critical.

"Food shelf usage has exploded. People are just desperate out there. We all hear the words of what's going on in the economy. The food shelves are what most people have to turn to."

Kainz says food shelf use tracks "pocketbook issues."

"We say that food shelves are an indicator of the economy. As the economy begins to, as they say, 'go south,' food shelf usage begins to go up. We actually noticed food shelf usage begin going up in the year 2000."

Kainz expects demand to continue to increase this year. She says users include people who lost jobs, have been hit with high medical bills, or may be having problems paying housing or heating bills. Also at risk are seniors, persons with disabilities and others on fixed incomes. More than half are families with children.

Kainz says last year saw almost 2 million visits to shelves statewide. She says this year's goal is to raise 9 million combined pounds and dollars. Contributions can be made at a local food shelf or by calling 888-315-7390.

More information is available at

Jim Wishner/Craig Eicher, Public News Service - MN