Demand at region's food shelves has increased 22 percent
It's no surprise that during the first nine months of the year use at the 31 northeast Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin food shelves served by Second Harvest Northern Lakes Food Bank had increased. In fact 22 percent more people are receiving as...
It's no surprise that during the first nine months of the year use at the 31 northeast Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin food shelves served by Second Harvest Northern Lakes Food Bank had increased. In fact 22 percent more people are receiving assistance from Northland food shelves than a year ago. Of those 9,556 people who receive assistance monthly over 37 percent are children.
"It has been difficult to meet this growing demand," said Shaye Moris, executive director of Second Harvest Northern Lakes Food Bank. "But we are seeking more food donations and it seems to be working."
Second Harvest Northern Lakes Food Bank provides nationally and regionally donated food to area food shelves to supplement what they get from local food drives or other sources. Nearly half of the food the food bank rescues goes to area food shelves.
This year these programs have received 22 percent more food from the food bank.
"Need is increasing in every community served by our food bank," Moris said.
Second Harvest Northern Lakes Food Bank currently serves four northeast Minnesota counties (St. Louis, Carlton, Lake and Cook) and four northwest counties (Douglas, Bayfield, Ashland and Iron) and need has varied among communities.
Moris states that the largest food shelf increases have occurred in northwest Wisconsin with 73 percent more people receiving assistance from food shelves, followed by the North Shore food shelves serving 27 percent more people and Carlton County serving 19 percent more. Although still large increases, Duluth area food shelves are serving about 14 percent more people than last year and Iron Range food shelves are serving 13 percent more.
In response to this increased demand, Second Harvest Northern Lakes Food Bank continues work on its 9,000-square-foot facility expansion slated for completion by April 2009. Once complete this building will have the ability to rescue 40 percent more food for Northland food shelves and other hunger programs.
Second Harvest Northern Lakes Food Bank is the region's only food bank and rescuer of nationally and regionally donated food for northeast Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin's nonprofit food shelves, soup kitchens, shelters and other charitable feeding programs.
Over the last year, the food bank has rescued and distributed over 2.8 million pounds of food or enough food for 2.3 million meals to 140 non-profit programs and approximately 40,000 people in need.
For more information contact Moris at 218-727-5653 ext. 13 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org . Information may also be found www.northernlakesfoodbank.org .