CAER food shelf announces challenge grant

Jul 23, 2018 | News

The CAER Food Shelf in Elk River and Open Your Heart to the Hungry and Homeless announce the eighth annual Food Shelf Challenge Grant.

Open Your Heart to the Hungry and Homeless will proportionally match donations to Community Aid Elk River during the month of July, up to $4,000. The more funds CAER raises in July, the larger the matching grant from Open Your Heart to the Hungry and Homeless will be.

“This is a wonderful partnership – one we rely on each year to help provide support to individuals and families in need,” CAER Executive Director Chad Johnson said.

In 2017, Minnesota food shelves raised over $1.5 million participating in this grant challenge and hope to raise even more this year.

Minnesota summers were made for outdoor recreation and farmers market outings, not food shelf visits, but that is the reality for thousands of Minnesotans, including families whose children are home from school and budgets are tight. CAER helps provide a variety of food, including fresh fruits and vegetables, to these families and needs the community’s help this summer.

Food shelves fill empty plates

Food shelves in Minnesota help individuals, families and seniors get the nutritious food they need but cannot afford to purchase on their own. Summer is especially stressful for both families with children and the food shelves that serve them.

At CAER, more than 770 school-age youth were provided with additional, supplemental summer food through the Kidz Kitz program last year. During the 12-week summer distribution, 83,865 pounds of food were provided to help fill the gap of when students are home for the summer and missing out on school meals.

The community can be part of helping CAER and local families this summer. Donations are accepted online at or via mail at 12621 Elk River Road NW, Elk River, MN 55330.

Donations can be dropped off during regular business hours 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday, Wednesday, and Friday as well as 6-7 p.m. Monday and Thursday.

“With the generosity of our community, we’re hoping to reach our goal of $20,000 and 10,000 pounds of food donated during the month of July. We serve more than 550 families each month at CAER and we are so thankful for each donation that allows us to continue to help those in need,” Johnson said.

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