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Area businesses asked to adopt-a-month with MAC/NAPS free grocery program

MAC/NAPS is looking for a little support. The program has grown and needs businesses to help with operational costs.

Mothers and Children, Nutrition Assistance Program for Seniors is a program designed for mothers, young children and men and women over age 60 who are in need of grocery support.

"This is a necessity," said Tracy Baker, nutrition education assistant at the University of Minnesota Extension Service.

"We want businesses to be aware it's a fundraiser for a very important program."

That program helps feed 300-330 people per month. Those who qualify receive a 50-pound box of food, valued at $50-$65.

"It's always shared, never wasted," added Diane Hasse, Head Start nutritionist with Mahube Community Council.

Baker said older people bring recipes to share with the younger people in the program. The distribution dates for MAC/NAPS is like a social time for the people to gather and see each other.

"It's the senior's Cheers. Everybody knows your name," she said.

While the volunteers sustain running the program -- "Without any one (of them), would make it harder to continue," Hasse said -- Hasse and Baker are looking to businesses to support the financial costs.

Second Harvest donates food for the program, but there are the operational costs, mailing and paper costs and some stipends given out to various people with the program.

Hasse and Baker are asking for businesses to adopt a month and donate $500 to the program. One business, which wishes to remain anonymous, already agreed to adopt the group for January.

Baker said people adopt a mile along the highways to maintain, so she wants businesses to adopt a month and maintain MAC/NAPS.

The program is run strictly on donations, and is struggling to keep up with the local need. Baker said if the program was stopped, that's 300-plus people that wouldn't have the food for that month.

"It's food these people count on," Hasse agreed.

"We just want a solid year of not worrying about feeding these people," Baker said.

Businesses that donate will be recognized on a banner at the distribution site, St. Luke's Episcopal Church, Detroit Lakes. Baker said with people who utilize MAC/NAPS, they will be able to see what businesses support them and are willing to support the program.

"It strengthens value in the community," she said. "And I hope they (MAP/NAPS participants) will give back (to the donating businesses) in the future."

Businesses wanting to adopt-a-month at MAC/NAPS can call Tracy Baker at 846-7328 or Diane Hasse or Leah Pigatti at 847-1385.