March Food Drive surpasses goal of 2 million pounds
Thanks to your donations, The Salvation Army’s third-annual March Food Drive raised 2.14 million pounds of food and cash equivalent, surpassing our goal of 2 million pounds.
The food is already being used to replenish The Salvation Army’s 22 food pantries and 13 hot meal programs in Minnesota. Countless families are relying on these programs as food prices surge more than 11 percent – the highest rate since 1979.
“We applaud our supporters for making this year’s March Food Drive a success,” said Lt. Col. Dan Jennings, leader of The Salvation Army Northern Division. “Together, we have dealt a powerful blow in the fight against hunger.”
The food donations will help people like George, a retired homebuilder from St. Paul. He lives off a fixed income of social security benefits and modest retirement savings. He doesn’t always have enough money to afford all of the food he needs. (Read more about George.)
“Living on a fixed income is not easy,” George admitted. “Thank you to the people who are donating to The Salvation Army and helping people like me.”
The food drive culminated in a special weigh-in event (pictured) on April 1 at The Salvation Army’s headquarters in Roseville (see photos). Gracious donors drove up in their cars to drop off food, while volunteers sorted thousands of pounds of donated nonperishables.
One of the drive-up donors was a man named Bruce. He stopped by to donate groceries after seeing a food drive commercial on WCCO-TV featuring Minnesota Timberwolves announcers Michael Grady and Marney Gellner.
“I had a little extra cash and I know there are people out there in need,” said Bruce, who works as a chaplain at a local hospital.
The weigh-in volunteers (pictured) included members of the University of Minnesota Alumni Association, Rotary Club of Roseville, and everyday people who just wanted to help.
“This is fulfilling work,” said volunteer Harley Ries, 26, who recruited one of his coworkers to join. “I love volunteering my time to help as much as I possibly can.”
Many local businesses supported the March Food Drive drive, including Cub grocery stores, Morrie’s auto dealers, Slumberland Furniture, Schuler Shoes, SPIRE Credit Union, and OneTenTen Homes, all of which accepted donations at their Twin Cities locations. In addition, the Star Tribune hosted seven pop-up food drives at Mystic Lake Casino, Target Center and other locations (see photos of a pop-up food drive at Cub in Eagan).
A large, last-minute donation also came from Loaves & Fishes, which dropped off an entire truckload of nonperishables.
“Thank you to all of our donors, partners and volunteers for supporting this year’s March Food Drive,” Jennings said. “Because of their generosity, thousands of families in need will not go hungry.”
The Salvation Army is on the frontlines of hunger in Minnesota, annually serving millions of meals throughout the state.