Valley Outreach is partnering with a number of area employers, schools and churches to promote non-perishable food collections in a bid to replenish the food shelf in March.
Items most needed include 100-percent juice, canned meat and fish, hearty soups, peanut butter and cereal.
“One in 10 residents of Washington County—families, children, the elderly—struggles with hunger,” according to Christine Tubbs, Executive Director of Valley Outreach. “More folks are finding themselves making difficult choices: pay for food or pay for rent; pay for groceries or pay for medicine.”
Valley Outreach is asking the community to take action and get involved by combining efforts at the workplace, church or neighborhood to make an impact in the fight against hunger in Washington County.
A full list of collection sites may be found at www.valleyoutreachmn.org. Donations can also be dropped off at Valley Outreach between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Pet food collections are taking place at Cedar Pet Clinic in Lake Elmo.
“Every year we help out by being a collection site for pet food at the clinic,” Peg Guilfoyle said. “Pull in, drop off your donation and drive away knowing that you are helping someone keep their companion animal.”
Lift Bridge Brewery is offering weekend brewery tours and people donating a canned food item will get a spot during the month of March.
Rose Floral and Greenhouse is hosting their Spring Garden Party on March 23 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. With a non-perishable food donation, donors will receive a free tulip bouquet, a sample of cake from Joseph’s Restaurant and coffee from Caribou Coffee.
Over the last few years, Valley Outreach has seen a 64 percent increase in the demand for food shelf services.
While this rate is slowing statewide, Tubbs said, the St. Croix Valley continues to experience increased need for support with 400 families using the food shelf monthly.
Financial contributions are also being directed toward the March campaign, with every $1 donated purchasing $10 of food through buying partners used by Valley Outreach.
March FoodShare Month is an annual statewide campaign to raise hunger awareness and build support for local community food shelves.
Valley Outreach will receive cash incentive awards based upon their campaign totals from Minnesota Food Share and the Feinstein Foundation Giveaway to Fight Hunger.