Record demand for food in Minnesota expected through 2021

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One in 12 Minnesotans struggles with hunger. We are now six months into the pandemic and more families than ever are dealing with hardships, like finding food.

"The desperation really has, has sunk in," said Allison O’Toole, CEO of the Second Harvest Heartland food bank.

O’Toole, and Cathy Maes, Executive Director of Loaves & Fishes Minnesota, are preparing for at least another year of record demand through 2021.

"We had predicted to serve maybe 1.5 million meals this year," said Maes. "Last year it was 1.3 million. We’re now on par for someplace around 3.5 to 4 million meals."

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"I’ll give you just sort of a day-to-day example," said O’Toole. "A year ago at this time, we were distributing about 150,000 pounds of food a day from our warehouse. And a couple weeks ago, we were double that. This week we’re a little less than that. But it’s just numbers that are off the charts."

Maes and O’Toole say the best way you can help in the fight against hunger is to make a donation to Second Harvest Heartland or Loaves & Fishes. These organizations know how to make a dollar go a long way.

If you or your family or neighbor needs assistance with food, please do not hesitate to reach out for help. You are welcome to participate in one of Second Harvest Heartland’s many programs or pick up a meal at a Loaves & Fishes dining site. They would be honored to serve you.