Love INC to host food give-a-ways

Love In the Name of Christ Heartland (Love INC) will be able to hold four Food For Friends food give-a-ways, because of grants from Cargill and Wright Hennepin Electric.

The first Food for Friends event will take place at 5 p.m. Friday, June 15, at the Wright County Fair Grounds, 1010 First St., Howard Lake. Hosts will be First Presbyterian Church of Howard Lake.

The other three Food for Friends events will take place July 13 at Watertown Free Church, 509 Jefferson St., Watertown; Aug. 13 at Maple Plain Community Church, 1815 Budd Ave. N., Maple Plain and Oct. 13 at Our Father’s Lutheran Church, 3903 Gilbert Ave. S.E., Rockford.

Volunteers are needed. Contact Lisa Green at the Love INC office, 763-972-6547, ext. 613 or lisa@loveincheartland.org to sign up. Each day has two shifts to choose from. First shift is from 2:30 to 5 p.m. for set up. Then volunteers age 18 and above can serve in the second shift from 5 to 8 p.m. for distribution and clean up.

Any family in need of groceries is invited to all of the events. Registration takes place at the events. No phone call is necessary. Love INC asks that people choose between volunteering to help distribute or to receive groceries and not do both.

Visit the Love INC website at www.loveincheartland.org for more information and directions.

Love INC is a collaboration of 25 area churches that serves neighbors in need in Maple Plain, Independence, Corcoran, Loretto, Greenfield, Rockford, Montrose, Howard Lake, Waverly, Delano, Watertown and Mayer. Offices are at 318 Railroad Ave. in Delano.

For families who benefit from free and reduced school lunches, summer adds greatly to their financial stress, said Love INC Executive Director, Terri Harris.

"I once had a mother tell me through tears that she could not afford to feed her three teenagers during the summer," Harris said. "As the number of families in need continues to grow, we will be able to help ease some of the financial burdens. These donations from Cargill and West Hennepin Electric gift will greatly help Love INC – Heartland continue to provide services to those in need in 11 different local communities."

Love INC – Heartland also will use grant money to continue helping families through "School for Life" classes. In these weekly classes, neighbors in need are paired with an advisor while they also receive class instruction. Classes such as Money Management, Nutrition, Economical Cuisine and Successful Parenting are offered in eight-week modules.

Each week, as families complete homework and maintain attendance, they receive a week’s worth of groceries as an incentive. On average, a family can pay down $10,000 in debt during a year of classes. Class participants report a significant decrease in family stress and an increased ability to pay off bills.

Love INC’s ministries include Lullaby (baby gear and diapers), furniture, bedding, house wares, clothing, personal care items and more. Love INC is continually in need of diapers (especially larger sizes), twin and queen (double) size beds and new pillows and bedding. To donate items, contact the Love INC office, 763-972-6547. To make a financial donation visit the web site at www.loveincheartland.org, or mail a check to PO Box 143, Delano, MN 55328.

Love INC – Heartland is a 501(c)(3) non-profit agency, and 84 percent of every dollar donated goes directly to local programs and local people in need.

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