Minnesota FoodShare seeks donations to boost local food shelves

Southwest food shelves join 300 in the state collecting extra food this month as part of the annual Minnesota FoodShare campaign.

Last year’s drive raised more than $8 million and more than 4 million pounds of food.

Nokomis Heights Lutheran Church at 5300 10th Ave. S. is hosting a March Madness drive in an effort to raise more than $3,300 for Community Emergency Services. They’re linking the food drive to the NCAA bracket — the more wins you pick, the more you give.

Other local participants include The Aliveness Project at 38th & Nicollet, Bethlehem Lutheran Church at 4100 Lyndale Ave. S., Lynnhurst Congregational United Church of Christ at 4501 Colfax Ave. S. (their “Pack the Pews” weekend is March 22), Incarnation Catholic Church at 3817 Pleasant Ave. S., Joyce Uptown Food Shelf at 3041 Fremont Ave. S., Sabathani Community Center at 310 E. 38th St., and Simpson Food Pantry at 2740 1st Ave. S. A March 15 collection at Mount Olivet Lutheran Church, 5025 Knox Ave. S., will benefit food shelves including Community Emergency Services.

Minnesota FoodShare recommends donating high-quality, nutritious food such as flour, couscous, applesauce, dried fruit, 100% fruit juice, lentils, peanut butter, vegetable oil, dried herbs and coffee.

Minnesota Foodshare reports that 1 in 10 Minnesotans experiences food insecurity on a regular basis, which is more people than attended Vikings home games during the 2014 regular season.