A few more cash donations may still be coming in the mail and will be added to the total, as long as they were postmarked by April 11.

These fundraising efforts are important because donations received during the Minnesota FoodShare campaign help determine how much money the Hubbard County Food Shelf receives from the state.

Cash donations made up $44,395 of the total.

“That included $5,860 from people who included the Chili Challenge form in the Park Rapids Enterprise with their donation,” food shelf director Bob Hansen said. ”We also had 38,433 pounds of food donated. Between the group at Century Middle School and Hugo’s partnering with the Boy Scouts, they brought in a huge volume of food for us along with items that we typically wouldn’t purchase. That gives us more choices to give to people.”

For every pound of food collected during the FoodShare campaign, $1 in matching funds is received from the state.

Community efforts

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Hansen said this year’s drive was very good, considering that some of the fundraising and collections weren’t able to be held due to COVID-19.

“I just can’t say enough good adjectives about the community as a whole, whether it’s businesses, clubs, schools, churches or individuals,” he said. “They have all been just fabulous as far as helping us out with donations. And with our client count being down, it’s looking very good,” he said. “We have been giving the clients a little more and also have been ordering less because of all of the food that has come in.”

Hansen said when extra funds that have been available during COVID expire, food shelf use will likely increase.

“I’m expecting that bubble to burst,” he said. “Some of that aid from government services will eventually come to an end, and when it does we’ll be ready. Also the price of gas and heating has been going up. When wages don’t go up as rapidly, that puts people in a greater bind.”

Donations are still welcome

Although the FoodShare campaign has ended, donations of food are still needed and may be brought to the Hubbard County Food Shelf on Pleasant Avenue South during regular hours. Pull into the door closest to the alley for curbside pickup or to drop off donations and call 218-732-1282. Anyone entering the food shelf must wear a mask.

Hansen said that donations of toilet paper, paper towels and personal care items, such as soap, deodorant, toothpaste, toothbrushes, diapers and wipes, are also welcome.

The food shelf is open Monday, Wednesdays and Fridays 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and Thursdays from noon to 5:30 p.m. It is closed Tuesdays. Cash donations will also be accepted during those hours. Mail checks to Hubbard County Food Shelf, 308 Pleasant Ave. S., Park Rapids, MN, 56470.