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Minnesota grocers are making it easy for consumers to get involved and make a difference in the lives of their hungry neighbors during the month of October by participating in the Minnesota Grocers Association’s (MGA) fourth annual “Minnesota’s Own” promotion.
Vendor partners supporting the effort with Minnesota’s supermarket companies will make a donation to Second Harvest Heartland. The campaign kicked off Oct. 4 via ads in eight local newspapers, which publicized participating retailers and vendor partners that are joining forces to combat hunger. This year’s goal is to increase last year’s outstanding success of 2.7 million meals distributed to Minnesotans in need.
“‘Minnesota’s Own’ offers an opportunity to increase awareness of a social issue that affects all our communities while assisting our neighbors in need,” said Jamie Pfuhl, president of St. Paul-based MGA, which represents over 200 retail members operating nearly 1,100 stores statewide and over 100 manufacturers and distributors. “By raising funds, increasing public support and promoting local donations to our food banks and shelves, the Minnesota retail food industry can truly make a difference in the fight to end hunger.”
This year, food pantry visits have increased by a shocking 40 percent, said Rob Zeaske, executive director at Second Harvest Heartland, Minnesota’s largest hunger-relief organization, which is also based in St. Paul. “With children in the household of more that half of those who need our assistance, taking action is critical. This promotion is a chance for everyone in the Heartland to contribute toward helping our neighbors -- working families, children and seniors -- manage today, with hope for tomorrow.”