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March Food Campaign Sets High Goal

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 By Jim Wishner, Public News Service - MN, Contact
February 27, 2009

Minneapolis, MN – Minnesota’s yearly March food drive gets underway Sunday, and organizers have set an aggressive goal because of the faltering economy, This year, the plan is to collect ten million dollars or ten million pounds of food.

Minnesota FoodsShare spokeswoman Sue Kainz says that would be ten percent above last year's collection, and the highest in the campaign’s 27-year history.

"The reason we set it that high is because the need is up dramatically. The economy’s in bad shape and people are really suffering out there."

More people are turning to food shelves as a last resort, says Kains, because of the rising costs of other necessities, such as housing and medical care.

"Food shelf usage has continued to increase for the last nine years, as some of those good-paying jobs have gone away, as plants have closed, as companies have moved away. We’ve got a lot of people in our state who really need help."

In 2008, Minnesota’s 300-plus shelves helped more than two million visitors. A recent statewide survey found they’re even busier. March Drive organizers say, while donations of both food and cash are accepted, cash is preferred because it goes further. Details of how to contribute are online at www.MinnesotaFoodShare.org.

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