CROSS Services, Open Your Heart to the Hungry and Homeless announce 7th Annual Food Shelf Challenge Grant

CROSS Services and Open Your Heart to the Hungry and Homeless announce the Seventh Annual Food Shelf Challenge Grant. Open Your Heart to the Hungry and Homeless will proportionally match donations to CROSS during the month of July, up to $5,000. The more funds CROSS raises in July, the larger the matching grant from Open Your Heart to the Hungry and Homeless will be.

In 2015, Minnesota food shelves raised over $2,575,000 with this grant and hope to raise even more this year.

Minnesota summers are made for trips to the cabin, boat rides on the lake, and farmers market outings, not food shelf visits. But that is the reality for thousands of Minnesotans. Children are home from school and the family budget is tight. CROSS helps provide nutritious fruits and vegetables to these families and needs the public’s help this summer.

Donations given in July will be matched by Open Your Heart to the Hungry and Homeless to help end hunger in the communities CROSS serves: Champlin, Corcoran, Dayton, Maple Grove, Osseo and Rogers.

To find out how to contribute to CROSS Food Shelf, visit the website at www.CROSSservices.org, or contact CROSS at 12915 Weinand Circle, Rogers, MN 55374, or call 763-425-1050.

“Our goal is to raise enough funds in July to earn the maximum matching grant of $5,000 to purchase meat, dairy products, and other food items that rarely come in through community donations,” said Elizabeth Johnson, CROSS director. “You can make a difference this month. Your financial donation will go further due to our buying power — we can purchase food nearly $10 worth of food for every $1 donation. We hope we can count on your generosity to make this matching grant happen.”

Since 1986, Open Your Heart to the Hungry and Homeless has targeted millions of dollars to strategically fight hunger in Minnesota. Open your Heart funds the purchase and transfer of more than one million pounds of fresh produce, meat, and dairy products to Minnesota food shelves every year.

Food Shelves Fill Empty Plates

Food shelves in Minnesota help individuals, families, and seniors get the nutritious food they need but cannot afford to purchase on their own.

“Our family budget gets really tight by the end of the month, and CROSS is such a blessing,” said a client who has been coming to CROSS for the last three months. “We are really thankful for the community donations that help us feed our family.”

Summer is especially stressful for both families with children and the food shelves that serve them. In 2015, there were 319,626 summer food shelf visits by children — a 2.1 percent increase over 2014. When kids are home for the summer they are missing out on school meals, and food shelves help fill that gap.

Locally, more than 50 percent of the 5,000 people CROSS provides food for each month are children. Twenty percent are seniors living on low fixed incomes. While job availability is one the rise, many jobs are paying far below the $20 per hour full time wages needed just to cover the basics a family needs to stay afloat. The food shelf helps hundreds of working families cover the huge gaps between expenses and their paychecks.