When the COVID-19 pandemic caused a steep rise in the need for food access in the community, Family Pathways reached out to supporters for help. Donors and community members responded with overwhelming generosity. The outpouring of donations, both of food and funds, allowed Family Pathways Food Shelves to meet this unexpected need. Many people were visiting the food shelf for the first time thanks to the effects of the pandemic. One first time client wrote to the food shelf staff afterward.   

 “I want you to know how much your help truly means to my family and me….Times are very hard for my children and I right now, as I realize it is for many people. Not having money for groceries and food in my kiddos tummies is a scary thing. Thank you for bringing comfort to this momma’s heart.”

While this crisis is not yet over, the strength of the community provides hope in meeting what lies ahead.

 Last year, 1 in 11 Minnesotans faced hunger. By the end of this summer, it will be 1 in every 8 Minnesotans. Family Pathways is anticipating a 65% increase in need at local food shelves late this summer and early fall. To help meet this need, Family Pathways will be participating in the Open Your Heart to the Hungry and Homeless Summer Challenge Grant.

 Throughout the month of July, donations to any local Family Pathways Food Shelf will be matched in part by the Open Your Heart grant. Any donation amount will help ​to stock the shelves with food, strengthen volunteer support, and empower Family Pathways and communities to be prepared to meet what lies ahead.

 For those looking to be part of meeting this challenge, donations can be made by going to FamilyPathways.org/donate, calling 651.674.8040, or mailing a check to Family Pathways, 6413 Oak Street, North Branch, MN 55056. Supporters can also help spread the word, encourage their friends, families, and neighbors to donate, or host a Facebook fundraiser. 

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