Local groups seeking donations to keep food distributions going

Volunteers help load groceries at a COVID-19 food distribution in Shakopee.

Two Shakopee organizations that have helped feed thousands of people in recent weeks are seeking the community’s help in keeping their weekly food distribution running.

Esperanza NCLC and ShakoStrong/Shakopee COVID-19 Help, with the support of several other local groups, have partnered to provide a drive-through food distribution at New Creation Lutheran Church on Saturdays since March 28.

The first week, they provided groceries for 180 families, or around 750 individuals, according to Mary Hernandez, one of the event organizers. By last week, they were up to 540 families — more than 2,400 individuals.

One woman who contacted Hernandez said she and her children had no food left, and she didn’t have enough gas money to get to the food shelf. Her first unemployment check was taking longer than she expected, and she resorted to making butter and cheese sandwiches for her kids. Hernandez said she was put on the home delivery list for groceries.

“The way the community has come together to serve … is overwhelming,” Hernandez said.

Though the community has already been supportive, the organizations need more help to keep up with this pace of need.

“The need is so great we need more supplies or resources,” Hernandez said. “As you can see, the longer the shelter-at-home directive remains in place, the more the need grows.”

As the need grows, the group projected this week’s distribution costs would exceed $1,700.

There is a GoFundMe set up for the food distribution, and New Creation Lutheran Church will also accept gift cards, especially for Cub Foods or Sam’s Club.

This week’s distribution will be 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Saturday, May 2 at New Creation Lutheran Church, 1053 Jefferson St. S. Click here to sign up to volunteer.

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