Food drive profile: Single mother needs ‘every help she can get’ (VIDEO)

Mar 7, 2023

Your donations to The Salvation Army’s March Food Drive help Minnesotans like Mikaela. Give now.   

For seven years Mikaela has lived in the St. Cloud area and worked as a Certified Nursing Assistant. Lately, her wages have not kept up with inflation.

“Food is extremely expensive,” said Mikaela, a single mother with a 7-year-old son. “I need every help I can get.”

She lives in a modest two-bedroom apartment on the outskirts of town, where rent is cheapest. She is a portrait of how rising food prices are impacting hard-working people and families.     

“I’m at the bare basics – to say the least,” she explained, adding that her only “luxury” in life is home internet.

She can afford to buy some of the groceries that she and her son need, but not all. And that’s where The Salvation Army comes in. Thanks to your donations, Mikaela is able to stop by our food pantry at the St. Cloud Salvation Army and receive the extra food she needs.   

“I like the fruit, and the meat helps because it’s really expensive,” she said. “The eggs and dairy help, too.”

The Salvation Army operates 22 food pantries and 13 hot meal programs in Minnesota, which together provide millions of meals for people like Mikaela. Our March food drive aims to raise 2 million pounds of food to help restock our food supplies, which are being strained by increased demand and skyrocketing prices. 

This food drive is perhaps the most important one we’ve ever launched, as everyday families struggle to afford surging food prices that have increased more than 11 percent – the highest rate since 1979. In addition, many Minnesotans are in danger of falling off a “hunger cliff” this month as food-stamp benefits are slashed across the country. 

“Thank you for the help,” Mikela said. “This helps me get by and have a roof over my head.”

Get Involved

Please help The Salvation Army raise 2 million pounds of food by donating nonperishables, hosting a food drive, giving a cash donation, or volunteering.

Donate food: In the Twin Cities, drop off nonperishable foods March 1-31 at Cub grocery stores, Morrie’s auto dealers, Slumberland FurnitureSchuler ShoesSPIRE Credit Union, or Salvation Army Store locations. View a map of drop-off locations.  

In greater Minnesota, drop off nonperishable foods at your local Salvation Army Worship & Service Center anytime in March. 

(High-demand foods include pasta, rice, and peanut butter, plus canned items such as fruit, veggies, and soup.)

Donate online and your gift will be matched: Help us feed hungry families by donating online. Your gift will be matched, up to $10,000. This matching opportunity means a gift of just $25 become $50 – enough to buy up to 280 pounds of food for Salvation Army food pantries. 

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. When you’ve finished your collection, bring your food to The Salvation Army’s headquarters in Roseville, 2445 Prior Ave. N., on Saturday, April 1 for a special drive-thru weigh-in event. (Read about successful grassroots food drives from previous years.) 

Buy a Star Tribune newspaper on Sunday, March 12: Inside the newspaper you’ll find a brown paper bag. Fill the bag with nonperishable foods and bring it to a participating drop-off location, or donate money by scanning the QR code on the bag. 

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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