Local food shelves see increased need for services

Local food shelves say they are in dire need of donations as the cost of living remains high.
Published: Aug. 31, 2022 at 8:49 PM CDT
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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) – Local food shelves say they are in dire need of donations as the cost of living remains high. Rochester organizations are asking community members to help out where they can.

This summer, the Rochester Salvation Army has seen a great need for its food shelf services.

“Just last Friday, we saw 65 households come to this food shelf, and that’s like three times the number of households we normally see on a Friday anytime during the day,” Salvation Army director of community engagement Rebecca Snapp said.

Staff members say it may be because of the high price for food, gas and other everyday expenses.

“People have been talking about high food prices at the grocery store, high gas prices. Having a food shelf accessible to you, that’s a really great way for families to really help to mitigate some of those costs and get through this really high inflation time,” Snapp said.

Another organization looking for community support is the Ronald McDonald House that houses families with children receiving care at Mayo Clinic. They’ve housed 68 families in the month of August.

“House dinners are back so we’re looking for groups in the community to come help with house dinners,” Ronald McDonald House family activity coordinator Carmen Thumann said.

The house offers dinners and kitchen spaces for families to connect and enjoy a sit-down meal together.

“They’re exhausted. They’re stressed out. The best thing that we can do for them is to provide them a home cooked meal at the end of the day that they don’t have to think about,” Thumann said.

The Ronald McDonald House is also looking for donations of games and puzzles.

“If it’s games for a family to sit together and play a game at night. If it’s a patient in the hospital and they need a day brighter, we send items over to them as well,” Thumann said.

Non-profit workers say they need community support to help put food on families’ tables.

“It is because of the community that we can continue to do this,” Thumann said.

“If you go to the grocery store and you buy non-perishable things for your family, think about getting one extra of those things and giving it to the food shelf, because there’s a family just like yours who needs those extra same things to keep them from being hungry during the week,” Snapp said.

Both of the organizations accept food donations. You can drop off food at the Salvation Army Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., and you can drop off donations at at the Ronald McDonald House seven days a week.