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More Mobile Food Shelves on Move in Minnesota

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Monday, October 12, 2015   

ST. PAUL, Minn. – Some deliverance is coming for those Minnesotans who are struggling with both hunger and transportation as a first round of funding for mobile food shelves is being released.

Lawmakers approved $2 million this past session, and the first $1 million in competitive grants has now been announced by Hunger Solutions Minnesota, which is overseeing the funds.

Among those sharing in the money is the ECHO Food Shelf of Mankato. Board member Marcia Olauson says ECHO will be expanding its delivery services, which began this past spring.

"A lot of our clients are employed, but they cannot sustain a family on an income of $8 an hour, $9 an hour,” she says. “There are so many people in need."

The ECHO Food Shelf mobile program relies on volunteers using their own vehicles to make monthly food deliveries.

In Montevideo and the surrounding counties, Prairie Five Community Action is going to use its grant to purchase a van to use as a mobile food shelf and hire a staff person to make the deliveries.

Outreach coordinator Angela Nissen says the need is great because in smaller, rural communities it can be very difficult for those in need to access some of the basic services.

"So this is an exciting opportunity for us to try something new and really focus on our mission, and that is helping people and bringing food to those that really need it," she stresses

In all, 17 food shelves statewide are sharing in this first $1 million to start or expand their mobile programs to reach individuals who are unable to access traditional food shelves due to age, disability or distance. An additional round of funding will be issued next year.






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