Minnesota FoodShare Month Kicks Off

DULUTH, Minn. – CHUM along with more than 300 other food shelves across Minnesota are asking for your help with donations of both food and money during a time of year when it may be needed the most.

“In the coming months, the need will increase, and we’ll see an incredible demand for supply in a normal time of year where donations are down, money is down; it’s just a harder time to get food,” CHUM Director of Distributive Services, Scott Van Daele says.

This is the 42nd annual year for the statewide campaign, Minnesota FoodShare Month, which runs through March. CHUM’s goal for this year’s drive is $100,000 dollars and 50,000 pounds of food.

“The amount of need has increased since the beginning of the year almost by 20 percent. We’re expecting it to go up about another 20 percent in the next few months which means we will need more food and more money to do what we do,” Van Daele says.

CHUM’s food shelf is looking for items such as cereal, canned foods like chili and pasta, ramen, and peanut butter which they ran out of last Friday.

“There’s things on the market right now that we need that I can’t buy even if I had money to buy them,” Van Daele says.

In an effort to reach the donation goal, CHUM is partnering with the Whole Foods Co-op as March’s Register Round Up recipient. CHUM is also working closely with Fairhaven Farm through the Community Supported Agriculture program, or CSA, securing 80 shares of fresh produce that will be distributed weekly through Fall.

“It’s a really great opportunity for the farmers to where we can receive payment for our vegetables in the springtime and create a plan to grow those vegetables to bring to the food shelf,” Fairhaven Farm Co-Owner, John Beaton says.

“Part of that collaboration between organizations like this and our local farmers is not only does it create more resiliency within our farmers and strengthens what we grow and why we grow it, but it brings in the people that normally may not have access to that nutritionally dense food and for the most part the people that need it the most,” Fairhaven Farm Community Engagement and Education Coordinator, Charlie Danielson says.

The first $50,000 dollars raised during the campaign will go towards this CSA deal. If you’re looking to help out, you can bring donations to CHUM’s food shelf on First Avenue West in Duluth or donations can be made online at Chumduluth.org.

“This event, this drive is what sustains us pretty much through halfway through the summer. It’s what keeps us going,” Van Daele says.

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