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Grocery group urges shoppers to join effort to feed hungry

The Minnesota Grocers Association (MGA) is encouraging consumers to help their neighbors struggling with hunger by going to the grocery store and participating in "Minnesota's Own" in October.

All food and monetary contributions collected in the store will go to community food banks and shelves to benefit local families.

Minnesota's Own is a three-way partnership among grocers, their vendors and consumers aimed at increasing donations to Minnesota food shelves. The Minnesota Grocers Association is coordinating the program across the state. Last year, Minnesota's Own campaign provided nearly 3 million meals to hungry families in Minnesota.

Grocers will offer ways for consumers

to participate in

Minnesota's Own,

including some of the following options:

•Food drive: Buy items in the store and donate them to local food shelves.

•Change for hunger: Customers may round up their purchase total to the nearest dollar and contribute the difference to feed local families.

•Grocery bag icons: For as little as $1, $3 or $5, customers may contribute to food shelves at the register and sign a grocery bag icon that will be displayed prominently in the store.

On October 3, ads were run in the Alexandria, Brainerd, Duluth, Mankato, Minneapolis, Rochester, St. Cloud and St. Paul newspapers. These ads highlight retailers and vendors and encourage consumers to shop at participating stores and look for product displays with the Minnesota's Own logo. Purchasing products from these companies will benefit community food banks and shelves.