During March, FoodShare Month, all food and monetary donations to the local center are matched by large corporations throughout the state.
Through the active involvement in the Campaign to End Childhood Hunger, Minnesota FoodShare seeks to ensure that all children receive adequate levels of nutrition. In 1997, 3.9 million pounds of food and cash were raised during the March campaign. Dollars given are converted to pounds for simplicity in reporting (one dollar=one pound). Althouh some food costs less per pound, particularly that purchased through a Food Bank, foodshelves must also purchase more expensive items to provide nutritionally sound meals.
In Paynesville last year, 32,276 pounds of food was distributed to needy families in the area. This averages out to about 179 clients per month of which 93 are children under the age of 18.
Julie Knutson, Community Service Center Director, said last year they handed out about 2,689 pounds of food per month to an average of 54 households.
The third Wednesday of the month is designated as food distribution day at the center and clothing and household items are distributed on the first and second Wednesday of the month.
Knutsons thanks the community for their continued support of the center.
During March, the Paynesville Area Elementary School students are collecting food items in their classrooms. Their goal is a pound per student.
At the middle school, the Primetime students are collecting food items for their classes over a three-week period.
In the high school, student council and Target Leadership are doing three things: a food drive, March 9 to 20, a competition for first hour classes; the week of March 23 during lunch hour who has the most cents will be held (students are being asked to donate loose change from their pockets); and a talent show is set for March 30 (watch Press for time).
Community wide, there are two fund raisers planned thus far. On March 15, UPS employees are hosting a benefit, ďAn Evening with the Stars,Ē at Bernieís Barn. All proceeds are going to the Paynesville Area FoodShelf. Cost of the tickets is $10 per person (tax deductible).
People Promoting Music and local singers from the Paynesville area have joined together to present ďShow-stoppers!Ē on Saturday, March 21, at 8 p.m. in the elementary gym. Cost of admission is an item for the FoodShelf or cash donation.
Grocery carts are also found in area churches where area residents can drop off their donations for the FoodShelf.
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