Local nonprofits offering assistance this holiday season

Published: Nov. 22, 2021 at 6:53 PM CST
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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) – We are just days away from Thanksgiving and inflation continues to raise the cost of gasoline and food, impacting all of us.

Local nonprofits like the Salvation Army and Channel One Regional Food Bank are ready to help those who need a little extra assistance.

Channel One Regional Food Bank Sign
Channel One Regional Food Bank Sign(KTTC)

Whether you need some help putting Thanksgiving-type dishes on the table this year or somewhere to go for a hot meal, area nonprofits are wanting to help those in need during the holidays despite rising inflation.

“We’re serving anyone who needs a place to go on Thanksgiving, might be a little lonely, might not have a family or a kitchen and wants to join us,” Salvation Army Program and Services Officer Major Lisa Mueller said.

The Salvation Army in Rochester is excited to welcome everyone back to its community Thanksgiving dinner this year, as last year it only offered a take-out meal because of the pandemic.

“Based on the number of calls we’re getting, we’re anticipating a pretty big crowd this year,” Mueller said.

“The supplies are difficult, so we’ve been really lucky to get the things that we have, but we are ready to go and nobody’s going to go hungry,” she said.

Bulk food at Channel One food shelf
Bulk food at Channel One food shelf(KTTC)

Whether it be pandemic-related or due to the rising costs of basic needs, more and more people are dealing with food insecurities this holiday season.

“We serve about 4,000 households every month, and that number has definitely fluctuated and risen over this past year and a half with unexpected job losses or people having to stay home to quarantine and missing out on the income, to kids being home from school and missing out on those meals,” Channel One Regional Food Bank Development and Communications Director Jessica Sund said. “We definitely have seen a huge increase in demand for food programing.”

Even nonprofits like the Salvation Army and Channel One are dealing with the rising costs of inflation.

“Even though Channel One has tremendous buying power as a food bank, we can turn one dollar into three and a half meals, we’re still seeing those costs rise,” Sund said. “Especially on those really important items like eggs, dairy, meats, and things like that.”

The Salvation Army is in great need of bell ringers for their annual Red Kettle Campaign, in addition to monetary donations and toys for their yearly toy drive.

Channel One says it is in need of monetary donations and volunteers to help in their food shelf.

The Salvation Army building
The Salvation Army building(KTTC)

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