CEAP, Northtown Mall food drive partners

Community Emergency Assistance Programs (CEAP), Minnesota FoodShare and Northtown Mall are coming together to fight hunger in March.

For 31 years, Minnesota FoodShare has hosted its March campaign, the largest food-and-fund raising event in the state. This year’s campaign theme is “Be A Hero in the Fight Against Hunger.”

Participating food shelves collect as many dollars and pounds of food as possible during March in an effort to receive a proportionate matching gift from Minnesota FoodShare and the Greater Minneapolis Council of Churches. The more that’s raised the larger the matching gift.

CEAP, a local food shelf that serves residents of Blaine and Spring Lake Park but acts as a secondary food shelf for all of Anoka County, has participated in this campaign for years, according to Tiffany Nguyen, CEAP communications and community relations manager.

The increased demand for food assistance in recent years has made the March campaign vital to keeping CEAP’s services available for families in need, Nguyen said.

Last year the matching gifts received from Minnesota FoodShare, as a result of donations made in March, helped pay for two months worth of CEAP’s food expenses, she said.

“Six hundred families visit CEAP’s Blaine food shelf every month,” said CEAP Director of Development Clare Brumback.

“Donations made as a part of the March FoodShare campaign are vital to helping us serve these families who are in desperate need of the basics. Without our donors these men, women and children would go hungry at night. No child should go to bed hungry.

“The March campaign is Minnesota’s most visible battle in the fight against hunger.”

Joining the fight this year is Anoka County’s Northtown Mall. Throughout the month the mall will serve as a community drop off site for people looking to donate non-perishable food items to CEAP.

In the mall’s center court will be a large barrel for dropping donations, along with signs updating shoppers on the drive’s progress.

“Northtown has been serving the community for 40 years and we are honored to partner with CEAP and Minnesota Food Share in this campaign to help families in our community receive the assistance they need,” said Linda Sell, Northtown marketing manager.

According to Brumback, Northtown Mall is such a visible and accessible space for people to make donations of food to help the community. “We are so grateful for the partnership and look forward to seeing what a success this can be,” Brumback said.

For more information on CEAP’s March FoodShare Campaign and how to help, visit its website at www.ceap.org.

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