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Campaign to end hunger


By Angie Rodenburg

Fri, Nov 1st, 2013
Posted in All Business Announcements

It may come as a surprise to many people that that one in ten Minnesotans go hungry. That statistic is precisely why Jim Hoiness, owner of Rushford, Harmony, and Preston Foods, has chosen to participate in the Minnesota Grocers Association’s program to help fight hunger and “take care of Minnesota’s own.” Collectively, over 17 million meals have been provided by the program in the five years it has existed.

Hoiness is doing what he can to end hunger in Fillmore County and invites community members to join him in the pursuit. Hoiness said, “We’ve always had customers interested in helping the food shelf during the holidays.” The program gives people an opportunity to help those less fortunate by getting the food shelves stocked up for the holiday season.

Every October and November, when shoppers check-out at any of the three of Hoiness’s locations, the shopper has the option to give an additional dollar to SEMCAC, a community action agency that runs the Fillmore County food shelves. Every dollar given will be matched dollar for dollar by the grocery stores, F&M Community Bank of Preston, Rushford State Bank, and First Southeast Bank of Harmony. Each store has a goal of reaching $2,000.

This year the stores and banks are getting creative in their fundraising efforts by hosting silent auctions. Tim Kiehne, Preston Foods manager, had the idea to auction off items such as a Snapple Bike, Twins Jersey, and an NFL football, along with various other items at the Preston location. Each of the banks will also be auctioning off a Keurig Coffee Brewer and Wide Awake

Coffee sample packs to the highest bidder.

Wendy Todd, SEMCAC’s Outreach and Emergency Services Director, said, “The grocery stores and banks have been really great. Food costs have gone up, which they have for everybody, but they have been really supportive.” Todd went on to say, “It also raises awareness that there are food shelves in the area. Many people do not know they exist.”

The fundraising started on October 24 for the Rushford location and October 28 for the Preston and Harmony locations. Hoiness said, “Fundraising is going well. In five days Rushford raised $250, with one generous customer giving $100.” The fundraising will go until November 16, or until the goal is reached. However, even if the match goal is reached before the November 16, the stores will continue to take donations that will be added into the final check given to SEMCAC.

When asked why the grocery stores do not simply donate food to the food shelf, Hoiness said, “Donating money gives SEMCAC the flexibility to do what they need with the dollars.” In the past the stores have donated actual food, but found it worked better to simply donate money.

If you would like to help Rushford, Preston, and Harmony Foods reach their goals, simply visit one of the stores and let the cashier know you would like to make a donation. Remember, every dollar is matched dollar for dollar. You can make a difference and help end hunger in Fillmore County.

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