Food drive profile: Family faces two-fold tragedy

Mar 18, 2024

Your donations to The Salvation Army’s Annual Food Drive help Minnesotans like Jane, a 62-year-old wife and mother from St. Paul. Donate now.

Lately, life has been hard for Jane, her husband, and their two grown sons. Two years ago, the family suffered a two-fold tragedy when Jane’s husband was laid off from his job of 36 years and suffered a stroke soon after. 

“The bills started piling up – my husband was always the sole provider,” Jane said. 

To make matters more difficult, Jane’s two grown sons are also facing hard times – one has been struggling to find full-time work, while the other has been battling major depression. Both are now living with Jane and her husband. 

Inflation hasn’t been doing the family any favors, either. 

“It’s horrible,” Jane said. “We are living on a fixed income and we don’t have any extra money. It’s been really tough, but we’re trying to make it work.” 

Thankfully, Jane and her family have been able to stay afloat with help from your donations to The Salvation Army. 

On Fridays, Jane stops by the West 7th Salvation Army in St. Paul to receive a big box filled with meat, bread, fruit, veggies, and other groceries. About 500 people receive food shelf services here every week. 

“It helps a lot,” Jane said. “The food The Salvation Army gives us frees up money to pay for all of our other bills.” 

The West 7th Salvation Army is one of the largest providers of food shelf services in St. Paul, distributing about 1.2 million pounds of food every year – equivalent to about 723,000 meals. 

“We got busy during COVID and it never has let up,” said Laura Aune, West 7th Salvation Army social services director. “People are still signing up to receive food – about 20 new families per week.” 

The Salvation Army’s Annual Food Drive provides food for people like Jane and her family, thanks to the support of friends like you who enjoy spreading God's love and goodness. 

“Every time we come to The Salvation Army for food, the people are always smiling,” Jane said. “A smile goes a long way.” 

How to help

Please support our food drive by donating nonperishables, hosting a food drive, giving a cash donation, or volunteering. Your generosity will fill the stomachs of local people and families hungry for help.   

Donate food in the Twin Cities by dropping off nonperishable foods Feb. 29–March 28 at Blaze Credit Union locations, Morrie’s auto dealers, Slumberland FurnitureSchuler Shoes, or Salvation Army Store locations. (Download a grocery list of high-demand foods.) 

You can also bring food to the KARE 11 News studio, 8811 Olson Mem Hwy in Golden Valley, for a special weigh-in event on Thursday, March 28 from 12–6 p.m. Throughout March, KARE 11 personalities are gathering donations through their “Food Fight” food drive to support The Salvation Army.  

Donate food in greater Minnesota by dropping off nonperishable foods Feb. 29–March 28 at your local Salvation Army Worship & Service Center. 

Pop-up food collections will be held in the Twin Cities throughout March at the grocery store locations below. Stop by to donate food and receive free swag from participating partners.

Donate online: Help us feed local families by giving online. Your donation will be used to purchase food for Salvation Army food pantries nearest to your billing ZIP code. 

Host a food drive: Collect nonperishable foods from friends, neighbors, coworkers, church members, and others. We will send you a Food Drive Starter Kit that includes tips and promotional materials for your website or social media. (Read about successful grassroots food drives from previous years.) 

When you’ve finished your collection, bring your food to the KARE 11 news studio, 8811 Olson Mem Hwy in Golden Valley, for a special weigh-in event on Thursday, March 28 from 12–6 p.m.

Volunteer: Do you have time to spare? Support our food drive by helping us unload delivery vehicles, weigh food, stock shelves, and more. Sign up to volunteer now.  

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