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Fillmore County food shelves prepared for holiday season

Fri, Nov 16th, 2012
Posted in All Features

By Jade Sexton

There are four food shelves in Fillmore County; Preston, Rushford, Mabel, and Spring Valley, and all of them work hard all year long to provide for people who need it. However, when the winter and holiday season arrives, those needs increase. Expenses for heating homes, as well as feeding families, go up, and more families seek help for these things.

Lynn Mensink, Food Shelf Director in Preston, said they have 248 families right now participating in the food shelf, but that number is sure to increase by about 15 during December.

SEMCAC has a lot to offer families during this time of year because of the holidays. For Thanksgiving, Fillmore County gives out 100 gift boxes of food. Mensink explained they are divided up the best they can, focusing on families and individuals and families with the greatest needs.

“There are people that may not have family in the area, and may have nowhere else to go,” said Mensink.

For Christmas, they have 120 turkeys and hams donated from a local business, which helps many people have a nice holiday meal with their families.

Another benefit for people in need is the Christmas in Fillmore County program. Businesses, organizations, and individuals donate their time, money, or gifts for children whose families may not be able to buy much for Christmas.

“Last year over 600 children in Fillmore County were helped,” said Mensink. “It’s a wonderful program.”

When the food shelves have extra money, they are able to buy grocery store gift cards for families at Christmas, which helps them out a lot. There are also hats and mittens available at the food shelves for those who need them.

“It’s really fun,” shared Mensink. “The parents are always truly ecstatic to see their kids get the gifts.”

Families do have to apply for the Christmas in Fillmore County program by December 1, as there are income limits.

According to Mensink, SEMCAC in Fillmore County is not overstocked by any means, but is right now able to handle the needs of the people.

“Fillmore County is amazing,” said Mensink. “It’s not a rich county, but people are so caring and giving here.”

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