ROCHESTER, Minn. - The government shutdown left some programs in our area without funding like food stamps and more. So a group of people from Rochester thought they should help out those who use them.
It is easy to see doing good can be simple.
While many were forced to stop working when the federal government shutdown, some in Rochester decided that was when they were going to start.
“We weren't sure how long some of our government subsidies would stay up and open, although Minnesota was able to stay up and open, we weren't sure how long that would last,” said Gale Julius, one of the event organizers.
So Julius and some others came together to organize, "Feed Those in Need." It is an event designed to offset the food stamp losses and other underfunded programs like Head Start.
Even though the government is back up and running, they thought the show must go on.
“We thought, the organization is done. We have food coming, we have people prepared to help out and there's still people in Rochester that are hungry and need extra,” Julius said.
It is unique in that it is not only a place for people in need to get food, but those who can are also dropping off food.
In just two weeks’ time, they were able to get a location, some sponsors and, of course, food for this event.
“We decided that this needs to be done really quick because we didn't know at the time how long before this really started to affect Rochester and so, yes, this is two weeks worth of work and it's been fast and furious work,” Julius said.
That is the type of work those at Community Food Response wanted to be a part of.
They collect food from restaurants, businesses and supermarkets that is going unused. They then distribute it to families so that they can reheat it at home.
“There has been some impact from the shutdown, the government shutdown, and the reduction of government programs in general such that people should be hungry,” said Beth Kosta, Vice President of the Community Food Response board.
So they brought some of the food that was given to them because they know that many will need extra help because of the work stoppage.
“It's all about feeding the hungry and we are passionate about making sure no one in Rochester goes hungry,” Kosta said.
Event organizers say that they will see how things go and see if they can do this again. They would like to make it an annual or semi-annual event if possible.
All of the event's leftover food will be donated to Channel One Food Bank in Rochester.
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