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Hormel Foods and United Way: fighting hunger

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Hormel foods and a couple other organizations are teaming up to fight hunger with a food packing event.

AUSTIN, Minn. - Hormel Foods is celebrating "The power of food, people and purpose" Friday in Austin!

In theme of the celebration of the community and of the power of food - Hormel Foods is teaming up with United Way of Mower County to celebrate all the work surrounding food insecurity in the community and to address its impacts.

Hormel Foods, United Way of Mower County, and a national-relief organization called "MATTER" will be hosting a food-packing event Friday from 3-5 p.m.!

Volunteers and members of these organizations will spend this time packing snack kits for youth serving programs in the area.

They are in need of at least 200 volunteers for two different shifts - one from 3-4 p.m. and one from 4-5 p.m.

The volunteers will put the snack kits together and write note cards with positive messages or words of affirmation for the kids.

"Which I think goes a long way, especially knowing that these snack kits will be distributed to local youth. I think that for them to open the snack kit to find delicious items and then to also get that positive message with that hand written note," said United Way of Mower County Executive Director Molly Lanke.

Lanke said even with efforts like this, the need for food security in the county is still great.

"I think it's safe to say - it's increased [since the start of the pandemic]," said said. "We know that the pandemic has exacerbated a lot of the issues - whether that be mental health, food insecurity, of course is a big one. We know that 1 in 10 Mower County residents are facing food insecurity - and that's also 1 in 7 children. So, it's really important to get ahead of this and make sure those trends don't increase and it requires all hands on deck - cross sector partnerships."

If you can't volunteer but would like to still help out - United Way is also having a supply drive for the Salvation Army and is asking for donations like peanut butter, canned tuna, and juice.

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