Friday, March 11, 2011

A Hunger-Free Minnesota?

On February 16, I attended a meeting organized by Second Harvest Heartland, to explore a multi-sector collaboration to close the gap in missing meals for the St. Cloud and surrounding area. This initiative is part of a greater initiative to close the gap across Minnesota and create a hunger-free Minnesota.

Hunger Free MN has provided access to research studies, background materials, webinars, videos, and templates for Minnesotans to learn and become well-informed about hunger in Minnesota. Some striking facts:
• Hunger in Minnesota has doubled in five years
• One in eight Minnesota children lives at risk of hunger
• There is underutilization of existing food channels. Less than half the people who are eligible for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program are taking advantage of it.
• Hunger costs Minnesota nearly $1.6 billion in direct and indirect healthcare and education expenses
• Hungry children are twice as likely to repeat a grade in school
• Hungry teens are five times more likely to commit suicide
• Hungry seniors are more likely to skip food than medicine

I encourage you seek additional information and sign the petition at .

Bremer Bank St. Cloud is taking action to help feed those who are hungary through two initiatives. The first is our March food drive to collect contributions for the Catholic Charities Emergency Services and capitalize on the additional support provided through Minnesota FoodShare. Additionally, Bremer employees volunteer at the local food shelf the first Wednesday of each month from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. This has been a great experience for our employees and is of great assistance to the food shelf. What can you do to take action to create a hunger-free Minnesota?

Kathy Grochow, NRS, St. Cloud

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