Food shelf use is on the rise - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Food shelf use is on the rise

WINONA, Minn. (KTTC) -- Food shelf usage seems to be on the rise. In Winona nearly 1 in every 5 households uses the program.

In May 932 households across the county utilized the food shelf, in June, that number jumped to 996; averaging out to 2,000 people a month.

The executive director said over the past few years the number has continually grown.

So just what is causing the increase?

"Seniors in our local high rise brining in their friends that are also on a fixed budget, that need additional help, to those that have lost jobs, to those that are unemployed and also families that are just struggling to make ends meet," said Director Sandra Burke.

The"Open Your Heart" Challenge grant, is a program sponsored by a non-profit in the Twin Cities. It allows Food Shelves, homeless shelters and other organizations to get more bang for their buck by matching a portion of all donated funds. Last year Winona's food shelf raised over 8,000 dollars in the month of July, and received 15,000 from the challenge grant.

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