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Pillager Food Shelf Announces 5th Annual Food Shelf Challenge Grant

posted Jul 7, 2014, 8:59 AM by Myra Horner   [ updated Jul 7, 2014, 9:02 AM ]

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

The Pillager Family Center, operating the Pillager Area Food Shelf and 
Open Your Heart to the Hungry and Homeless Announce Fifth Annual Food Shelf Challenge Grant

 In Minnesota, summer means trips to the lake, long bike rides, and fresh produce. But many Minnesota families can’t afford weekly trips to the farmer’s market for fruits and vegetables.  The Pillager Area Food Shelf helps provide nutritious fruits and vegetables to these families and needs your help this summer. Donations in July will be matched by Open Your Heart to the Hungry and Homeless to help end hunger in Pillager.

Pillager MN—(July  1, 2014)— The Pillager Family Center, operating the Pillager Area Food Shelf, and Open Your Heart to the Hungry and Homeless announce the Fifth Annual  $150,000 Food Shelf Challenge Grant. Open Your Heart to the Hungry and Homeless will match donations to the Pillager Area Food Shelf during the month of July, up to $5,000. The more funds the Pillager Area Food Shelf raises in July, the larger the matching grant from Open Your Heart to the Hungry and Homeless will be.  In 2013, Minnesota food shelves raised over $1,000,000 with this grant and hope to raise even more this year.

The goal of the Pillager Area Food Shelf is to raise $5,000 during the month of July in order to receive the full match.  The funds will go to help sustain the Pillager Area Food Shelf during the year.  During the summer, many families have a harder time meeting their food bills because children are home from school.  The Pillager Area Food Shelf works hard to have food available to all families needing extra help during the summer months, and beyond as funds allow.

Open Your Heart to the Hungry and Homeless believes this approach to hunger alleviation is effective because it brings communities together to solve a growing concern across Minnesota.  The $150,000 Challenge will power a statewide initiative that leverages Open Your Heart funding to bring additional dollars to food shelves and increase awareness of child hunger during the summer.  Since 1986, Open Your Heart to the Hungry and Homeless has targeted millions of dollars to strategically fight hunger in Minnesota. Open Your Heart funds the purchase and transfer of more than one million pounds of fresh produce, meat and dairy products every year through Hunger Solutions Minnesota.

Food Shelves Fill Empty Plates Every Summer

Minnesota food shelves help families obtain the groceries they cannot afford to purchase on their own.  People served by food shelves report having to choose between paying for food and paying for utilities and other necessities.  “Without the help of the Pillager food shelf, I would not be able to meet my families’ basic needs.  I am so thankful for the extra help!”  Pillager Food Shelf client.

Summer is especially stressful for both families with children and the food shelves that serve them. Every day, 3,500 Minnesota children are served by food shelves. For many kids, being home from school for the summer means they miss out on school meal programs as well.   Food shelves help fill this gap. “The Pillager Area Food Shelf serves about 160 people each month and about 80 people participate in the MAC/NAPS commodity program.  The Pillager School offers free breakfast and lunch to all children up to age 18 during the summer months which is a benefit to those families who are able to get to the school to participate.  Not all families are able to do so.  We are thankful to be available to all families in our community who need help providing food for their families.

The Pillager Family Council operates the Pillager Food Shelf and is a non-profit 501c3 organization providing many programs and services to families in the Pillager community for over 20 years.   In addition to the Food Shelf, the Pillager Family Council provides Cass County Co-located services such as WIC, Well Child Checkups, meetings with Financial Workers through video link, Veteran’s Service workers and Family Support Workers.  Staff members are knowledgeable about local resources and programs and are able to provide information to people who may need it including County services and Bi-County CAP services.  The Pillager Family Council operates a state licensed child care center for children ages 16 months to five years old, preschool program for three year olds, and school age care program.  A home visiting program for first time parents is a valuable program the Pillager Family Council offers.  Love and Logic Parenting Classes and “Cents-ible $pending” Classes are offered throughout the year to community members.

ABOUT OPEN YOUR HEART TO THE HUNGRY AND HOMELESS

Open Your Heart to the Hungry and Homeless has 28 years of experience as the only grant provider in Minnesota focused solely on alleviating hunger and homelessness. Open Your Heart helps food and shelter providers of all sizes get the resources they need to serve more people, including mattresses, freezers, fresh produce and roof repairs. They also support homeless students by providing school supplies, activity fees, gym shoes, tutoring materials and other essentials that help them engage fully in school.  For more information:  http://www.oyh.org/

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