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Don't Forget the Food Shelves

In the midst of all the excitement over football and winter sports, it's easy to lose sight of those who need help. Consider giving some aid, whether monetary, donations, or volunteer time, to one of these deserving organizations. Note that cash is especially welcome, as many food shelves have the ability to stretch those dollars beyond what the ordinary shopper could do. But food is of course extremely welcome too, as are many things like toiletries.

Eden Prairie's PROP Food Shelf is hosting Empty Bowls on Feb. 20, an awareness-building event in which you're encouraged to enjoy homemade soup while learning more about the homeless problem in the southwest metro. No donations required, but if you can spare dollars or food, please do. Currently, PROP especially needs canned tomato sauce, canned chicken, canned fruit, bars of soap, and paper towels and tissues.

Second Harvest Heartland says there's no specific item they're in greatest need of, but instead, need some of everything. A cash donation of $50 provides 150 meals. Another way to help would be to host your own Food & Fund Drive, which you could turn into a fun gathering for friends and family while doing a tremendous amount of good.

St. Paul's Neighborhood House has a wide variety of cultural and ethnic needs, as their clients are largely immigrant and refugee. When in doubt, consider donating cash, or call to find out specific needs.

The ICA Food Shelf in Minnetonka has a list of current needs on its site, including both food and non-food items, with emphasis on shelf-stable items and gluten-free items.

CEAP, which serves people in all of Anoka County and parts of Hennepin County, also has a wish list on its website. CEAP also has a food shelf specifically for homeless youth ages 12-21.

Keystone Community Services in St. Paul has several locations, including a Foodmobile truck. They're looking for all kinds of food and personal care.

This is only a sampling of the many organizations around the Twin Cities—and the state—providing these services for people in need. You can find a more extensive list of Minnesota food shelf organizations at Hunger Solutions MN.

What else is happening in our state? Be sure to check out the 10 p.m. Tuesday night WCCO newscasts, where you can learn more in the weekly segment, Finding Minnesota.

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