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Food Pantry needs cash donations

Jeers to the officials at Penn State who failed to protect children from being victimized.

That so many appeared to have their priorities so misplaced just shows how difficult it can be to do the right thing -- and how easy it is to circle the wagons and protect an institution rather than weak and powerless victims.

A thorough and fact-based investigative report released by former FBI director Louis Freeh clearly shows that protecting innocent children was secondary at Penn State to protecting a great football program and legendary coach.

The Board of Directors of Pennsylvania State University deserves credit for requesting the internal investigation.

It's hard to understand how top officials -- otherwise decent people -- could essentially turn a blind eye to the Jerry Sandusky child sexual abuse incidents that went on for at least 14 years and included multiple victims.


Cheers to the Becker County Food Pantry for participating in the third Annual Food Shelf $100,000 Challenge Grant this month.

Sponsored by Hunger Solutions and Open Your Heart to the Hungry and Homeless, the challenge provides matching supplemental dollars to food shelves' fundraising activities in July.

In Becker County, the need at the Food Pantry has increased by nearly 25 percent from the same time last year.

Minnesota food shelves raised over $1 million last year with this grant and hope to outpace that this year. Over 150 Minnesota food shelves are participating in the challenge this month.

Open Your Heart funds the purchase and transfer of more than one million pounds of fresh produce, meat and dairy products every year through Hunger Solutions Minnesota.

"I am concerned about low-income families this summer," said Colleen Moriarty, executive director of Hunger Solutions Minnesota,.

"The food shelves need a financial boost so they are able to meet this stepped-up demand to have additional child-friendly grocery items available."

Every dollar raised by a food shelf can purchase four pounds of food from Second Harvest Food Bank, while a $25 donation will buy 100 pounds of food which equals 77 meals for the hungry.

Each year, when school ends, and summer vacation approaches, low-income families across Minnesota wonder how they will be able to provide enough food for their children.

Over 250,000 students are at-risk for hunger during the summer because they do not have access to free meals at school.

To fill the summer hunger gap facing these children, parents turn to Minnesota food shelves to supplement their groceries.

Minnesota food shelves face a steep uptick in demand, especially for child friendly food. Summer is also the time when financial and food donations decrease.

Minnesota has over 300 food shelves to serve people in all counties.

Between April 2011 and March 2012, there were 1.3 million child visits to these food shelves.  That reflects a 9 percent increase over the same time the previous year.

In the summer (June, July and August) of 2011, there were 327,059 child visits to food shelves.  That is a 10 percent increase over the summer of 2010.

The Becker County Food pantry needs cash donations now to qualify for the matching grant. Take a minute from your busy summer to help.