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March campaign raises $8.4 million

Thousands of Minnesotans — individuals, community groups, companies, congregations, and schools — combined to raise almost $8.4 million and almost 4 million pounds of food for the Minnesota FoodShare March Campaign. With the food collected, combined with the buying power of the donations, more than 37 million pounds of food will be distributed by local food shelves statewide.

“Throughout the campaign, we have heard story after story about the incredible ingenuity and generosity of folks around the state,” said Sara Nelson-Pallmeyer, director of Minnesota FoodShare. “We continue to be amazed at the commitment so many make to help assure that their neighbors in need do not go hungry.”

Horseplay, a four-person band of Belle Plaine High School students, put on a benefit concert for the Belle Plaine Food Shelf, including a corresponding match, raising more than $2,700. One couple asked guests attending their wedding to bring donations of non-perishable food items and checks to support the March Campaign.

The campaign is the only statewide effort of its kind and raises more than half the food distributed annually by food shelves. Minnesota FoodShare encourages giving directly to community food shelves. In addition, Minnesota FoodShare administers a food fund distributed to local food shelves in August, when the need is particularly great, and last year $900,000 was disbursed to 286 food shelves.

Through advocacy, support of additional initiatives such as the summer lunch program, and development of new efforts such as GardenShare and “Pack the Pews,” Minnesota FoodShare continues to raise awareness about hunger issues and ensure hungry Minnesotans have access to their most basic need.

Minnesota FoodShare is one of a family of human service programs of the Greater Minneapolis Council of Churches. GMCC has focused on fighting hunger, helping seniors, empowering urban American Indians, nurturing families and mentoring youth since 1905. For more information, visit www.gmcc.org.

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