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Food shelf donations help area families

An organization is matching donations throughout the month of July.

Posted: Jul. 18, 2018 6:53 PM

ROCHESTER, Minn. - The Channel One Regional Food Bank is participating in the 8th annual Food Shelf Challenge Grant. Through this program, Open Your Heart to the Hungry and Homeless is matching donations given to the food bank, up to $4,000, throughout the month of July.

"I can't think of a better place to give money. Can you imagine not having food? I can't. I don't know what that would be like," says volunteer John Church.

The program is coming at a good time, as demand for donations go up in the summer months. 32,000 children in the food bank's service area qualify for free or reduced lunches at school. When school isn't in session, kids don't have access to those meals and have to get them at home.

"Generally, parents don't make more money during the summer. They also are paying for additional daycare a lot of times during the summer," explains executive director Virginia Merritt. "Kids are not getting those meals at school, so they have to find a way to stretch those budgets."

Nationally, 1 in 5 families in America having food insecurity, which means they don't always know where their next meal is coming from.

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