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Minnesota's Largest Food Drive Seeks to Restock 300 Food Shelves

March 1, 2012

ST. PAUL, Minn. - The state's largest food drive begins today, and the need is greater than ever.

While the economy has slowly improved, says Sara Nelson-Pallmeyer, director of Minnesota FoodShare, people are still struggling, and visits to food shelves continue to grow.

"Unfortunately, it's still rising. Food shelves have seen about a 9.8 percent jump in visits from August of 2010 to August of 2011."

The goal for this year's March campaign, Nelson-Pallmeyer says, is to raise enough money and food to supply 300 food shelves with half of their annual needs. More than one in 10 Minnesotans live in a household which sometimes struggles to get enough food.

Last year, she said, the drive reached its goal of "12 million dollars and pounds" of food; and they hope to do even better in this campaign.

"This year we're focusing more on trying to support the food shelves and getting half of the food that they distribute funded. So, it's about the same amount. It's about 12 million (dollars and pounds), but the more dollars we get the less pounds we need to get."

Every single dollar donated to Minnesota FoodShare during the March campaign goes directly to food shelves, and Nelson-Pallmeyer notes there are plenty of ways to get involved.

"There are bake sales, there are concerts, empty-bowl lunch and dinner events, garage sales. There's an attempt to break the Guinness World Book of Records for the most food collected in a 24-hour period. So, all sorts of stuff going on."

More information on how, what and where to donate is online at the Minnesota FoodShare website, a href="http://mnfoodshare.gmcc.org/march.php" target="parent">mnfoodshare.gmcc.org.

John Michaelson, Public News Service - MN