March Food Share campaign is underway

The Delano Helping Hands Food Shelf is participating in the Minnesota Food Share March campaign. The website for this campaign is mnfoodshare.gmcc.org.

Three Zens siblings made the first donation to the Minnesota Food Share March Campaign at Delano Helping Hands Food shelf. The Zens family held a party to celebrate the birthdays of Justin and Caden, both 8, and their sister Alexis, 4. Invited guests were asked to bring food or money donations for the Delano Helping Hands Food Shelf instead of birthday presents.

Three Zens siblings made the first donation to the Minnesota Food Share March Campaign at Delano Helping Hands Food shelf. The Zens family held a party to celebrate the birthdays of Justin and Caden, both 8, and their sister Alexis, 4. Invited guests were asked to bring food or money donations for the Delano Helping Hands Food Shelf instead of birthday presents.

Each March, Minnesota Food Share directs the March Campaign, the largest food drive in the state and restocks almost 300 food shelves across Minnesota. It recruits thousands of congregations, companies, schools and community groups to run local fund and food drives to aid in the effort.

Many area churches are participating in this event. With the campaign, Helping Hands receives additional monetary incentives to be able to purchase food. Any donation to Delano Helping Hands, whether actual food or money (one dollar equals one pound of food) is catalogued.

On average Delano Helping Hands serves 60 different families monthly. All food given by the food shelf is donated by individuals in the community or purchased with donated money for use by Delano area families in need.

Cash donations allow Helping Hands to purchase food from Second Harvest Food Bank at a much lower cost per pound than the average consumer can. Additional items are also purchased from area stores.

Food donations also are welcome. Suggested items are fruit juices, canned fruit and vegetables, boxed dinners, skillet dinners, Tuna and Hamburger Helper, meats, soda and wheat crackers, jams, jelly, peanut butter, pancake mix and syrup, sugar, flour, brownies, cake mixes, Jello, pudding, paper products, laundry detergent and personal hygiene products.

“If you like something, someone at the food shelf will like it also,” said Jean Pilarski, Helping Hands spokesperson.

Delano Helping Hands is a community-based non-profit organization, Helping Hands was founded in 1985 through efforts of 10 area churches. Emergency food assistance is provided at the food shelf, located in the basement of the Community Education Building at 140 Elm Ave. The food shelf is open every Thursday from 2 to 4 p.m. and every third Thursday from 5 to 7 p.m.

Delano Helping Hands food shelf is operated entirely through volunteers. Area churches, schools, youth groups, civic organizations, and businesses support food shelf efforts through continued donations of food, money and volunteer time. Twice a year — in November and during Minnesota Food Share month in March — Delano Helping Hands asks area churches and civic organizations to conduct food drives. Food and money collected during these drives stays at the local food shelf to meet community needs. Food shelf volunteers are always welcome and interested individuals can inquire at any area church.

“We are so thankful for the generosity and continued support of the community. Anyone interested in joining in this campaign can contact us or bring their donation to the food shelf,” said Sandy Pikus, Helping Hands director. For information contact Pilarski at 763-972-3360 or Pikus at 763-972-3723.

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