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The La Crescent Food Shelf is challenging Houston County to make a difference for hungry families and accept the 2019 Food Shelf Challenge from Open Your Heart to the Hungry and Homeless in July.

Minnesota summers were made for trips to the cabin, boat rides on the lake, and farmers market outings, not food shelf visits.

But that’s the reality for thousands of Minnesotans. Children are home from school and the family budget is tight. The La Crescent Food Shelf helps provide nutritious fruits and vegetables to these families and needs your help this summer.

The La Crescent Food Shelf is seeing increase in child visits during the summer. When school is out for summer vacation, many children miss out on free school meals and their families turn to us for support.

Every day, Minnesotans make more than 9,000 visits to food shelves statewide – that is six visits to a food shelf every minute.

In July and August, the La Crescent Food Shelf sees a 40% increase in visits. In June, the La Crescent agency served 70 households, which was a 25% increase from May. The increase is expected to continue through the summer.

You can make a difference this year by donating throughout July. The more you donate, the larger the food shelf’s grant from Open Your Heart to the Hungry and Homeless will be.

The challenge funds will proportionally match donations. Financial donation will go further due to the buying power of the food shel, which can purchase food from our food bank for pennies on the pound.

Since 1986, Open Your Heart to the Hungry and Homeless has targeted millions of dollars to strategically fight hunger in Minnesota.

This organization funds the purchase and transfer of more than one million pounds of fresh produce, meat and dairy products to food shelves every year.

Open Your Heart to the Hungry and Homeless also provides grants for food shelves and food banks to get the equipment they need — such as freezers, shelving and trucks — to be able to serve the growing number of Minnesotans who can’t afford enough food for their families.

Hunger Solutions Minnesota is the statewide organization that coordinates this challenge grant opportunity.

Hunger Solutions works to end hunger via the Minnesota Food HelpLine and by advancing fair public nutrition policies on behalf of hungry Minnesotans. Hunger Solutions also connects Minnesota’s food shelves with funding and technical assistance to support the 9,000 daily food shelf visits.

The La Crescent Food Shelf is a partner program of La Crescent Area Healthy Community Partnership, now located at 333 Main St., La Crescent. It is open 2 to 5 p.m. Wednesdays and from 9 a.m. to noon on the second Saturday of the month serving residents of Houston County.

To donate, you can stop by, or mail a check to La Crescent Food Shelf, or donate online at givemn.org/Lacrescentfoodshelf.

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