With the support of thousands, Minnesota FoodShare celebrates record-setting March campaign
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - With continuing economic hardship touching every corner of the state, a 2011 March Campaign goal - to raise a combined 12 million dollars and pounds of food - was particularly ambitious.
But with a can-do spirit and the motivation and goodwill of civic groups, companies, congregations, schools and individuals throughout the state, the 29th annual Minnesota FoodShare campaign was successful, raising more than $7.8 million and almost 4.3 million pounds of food. That's a record combined total of 12,048,127 dollars and pounds raised by this grassroots effort to fight hunger and help stock more than 300 food shelves statewide.
This year's campaign was marked by many specials events and efforts. For instance, kindergarteners from Mounds Park Academy collected almost 300 pounds of food as part of a math project. Chanhassen Dinner Theatres urged patrons to donate following March performances of "Jesus Christ Superstar" and raised more than $17,000. St. Thomas Academy teamed up with several corporate partners to collect a record-breaking 14,200 pounds of food during the third annual Advocacy of the Hungry food drive.
"So many groups, businesses and individuals really stepped up this year to help those in need," Sara Nelson-Pallmeyer, director of Minnesota FoodShare, said. "The ingenuity and creativity displayed throughout the month at the various events was truly amazing. It was a wonderful statewide effort."
With more than three million food shelf visits statewide in 2010, the March Campaign is important to so many men, women and children throughout Minnesota --the working poor, toddlers, senior citizens and yes, the middle class. The annual food and fund drive raises more than half the food distributed annually through food shelves across the state.
Minnesota FoodShare's March Campaign is the only statewide effort where every dollar donated goes directly to food shelves to purchase food for the hungry. For each dollar contributed, food shelves can purchase four pounds of food, so this year's total will translate to 35 million pounds of food for food shelves to distribute.
Through advocacy and support of other programs such as the summer lunch initiative, Minnesota FoodShare continues to raise awareness about hunger issues and ensure the hungry have access to their most basic need. Minnesota FoodShare is one of a family of community service programs of the Greater Minneapolis Council of Churches (GMCC). Since 1905, GMCC has battled poverty in Minnesota, bringing together businesses, civic groups and congregations to help struggling families remain self-reliant.