Mission Accomplished: 2 Million Pounds of Food Raised
The numbers are in: The Twin Cities Salvation Army has officially reached its goal of raising 2 million pounds of food in March.
Some called the goal impossible. The Twin Cities community proved otherwise, donating enough cash and nonperishable foods to accomplish the largest food drive in local history. The food will be used to replenish The Salvation Army’s nine Twin Cities food shelves, which have been strained by record demand.
“Raising 2 million pounds of food required an Army of community support,” said Lt. Col. Dan Jennings, leader of The Salvation Army Northern Division. “We applaud the Twin Cities community for its remarkable giving spirit. Thank you is not enough.”
Many local businesses helped lead the charge, including SPIRE Credit Union, Cub grocery stores and Morrie’s Auto Group, all of which accepted donations at their Twin Cities locations throughout March. In addition, several pop-up food drives were hosted by the Star Tribune and Minnesota Twins, with large donations of canned goods given by Faribault Foods (100,000 pounds), Pritchard Companies and the Mike Zimmer Foundation (10,000 cans).
“COVID-19 is not over yet – there is still so much need out there,” said Dan Stoltz, SPIRE president and CEO. “Thank you to everybody for stepping up to help The Salvation Army. The generosity of Minnesotans is inspiring.”
A groundswell of support also came from dozens of everyday people, churches and small businesses that hosted grassroots food drives. That includes Plymouth resident Carrie Schmid, whose three young kids helped her gather food donations from their neighbors and at a nearby Cub store.
“This food drive spoke to my heart,” Schmid said. “It’s all about giving back to the community – especially after this crazy year.”
The food drive culminated March 27 during a special weigh-in event at Salvation Army headquarters in Roseville, where a nonstop stream of people drove up in their cars to donate (see photos). Four of the cars came from Woodbury Lutheran Church, whose members donated a total of 3,000 pounds of food.
More work to be done
Although we reached our goal, the work still is not over. Our partners and supporters continue to host food drives, donate money, and drop off nonperishable foods at our locations. Local Schuler Shoes stores have joined this effort by accepting donations of nonperishable foods throughout April.
These continued efforts are appreciated because even more donations will be needed in 2021. With 2 million pounds of food The Salvation Army can supply about 1.2 million meals, but that’s still less than half the amount of food needed to sustain our nine Twin Cities food shelves year-round.
Your ongoing support will bless thousands of people such as Amber, a career restaurant server in St. Paul who has struggled ever since the pandemic began. She hasn’t been able to wait tables full-time and has stayed afloat by working odd jobs and dipping into her savings account. She stops by her local Salvation Army food shelf almost every week.
“It’s humbling to receive food when you can’t afford it, when you have to spend that money on rent or other bills,” Amber said. (Read Amber’s story.)
With the help of our supporters, The Salvation Army will continue to provide the highest level of service to our community during the pandemic and long after it ends.
“We are here to help our neighbors in need,” Jennings said.
Watch the video below for an inside look at what a typical day is like distributing food at the West 7th Salvation Army in St. Paul, one of nine Twin Cities food shelves benefitting from this month’s 2 Million Pounds food drive.