HIBBING — Upward of 1,600 people served more than 54,000 pounds of food — and that was in just one month.
In May, the Hibbing Salvation Army provided 450 people with 19,460 pounds of food from its food shelf, plus gave away another 1,172 people with 34,778 pounds of bread and produce.
The numbers are staggering, yet the need is even greater.
The nonprofit agency is now asking for a little help that will go a long way.
The Salvation Army and Open Your Heart to the Hungry and Homeless are currently in the midst of the eighth annual Food Shelf Challenge Grant.
Open Your Heart to the Hungry and Homeless will proportionally match donations to the Salvation Army’s food shelf during the month of July up to $4,000.
That means the more funds received in July, the larger the matching grant from Open Your Heart to the Hungry and Homeless will be.
In 2017, Minnesota food shelves raised more than $1.5 million participating in this grant challenge. This year’s goal is to supercede that.
Minnesota summers were made for trips to the cabin, boat rides on the lake and farmers market outings — not food shelf visits. But it’s reality for thousands of Minnesotans. Children are home from school and the family budget is tight.
“It seems every year donations go down during the summer, but the need in the community is just as great — if not greater,” said Capt. Mitch Brecto, Hibbing Salvation Army administrator.
Summer is especially stressful for both families with children and the food shelves that serve them. In 2017, children made 268,181 visits to food shelves in the summer months. When kids are home for the summer, they are missing out on school meals and food shelves help fill that gap.
Since 1986, Open Your Heart to the Hungry and Homeless has targeted millions of dollars to strategically fight hunger in Minnesota.
Donations may be dropped off or mailed to The Salvation Army, 107 West Howard St., Hibbing, MN 55746 or donate online at HibbingSA.org.