One canned good could save a life


In 2012, more than 8,500 people per day used Minnesota Food Shelves. That’s more than 3 million visits a year, and the numbers are still growing. My family uses the food shelf. On the 10th of every month, my mother receives $264 for food stamps. It goes on an EBT card and either that day or a day after we go to buy food for the entire month. It doesn’t last us. The money isn’t enough. Food prices are rising every day and even though it may seem like $264 dollars is a lot, it doesn’t last. The money barely buys any food. So toward the end of the month, we go to the Salvation Army Food Shelf. They sometimes have boxes, sometimes bags. They already have food in them – cereal, canned fruit and pasta. They go to a freezer and get you maybe two pounds of meat, if that. We barely have a choice on bread. In all, you barely get anything. The only reason for that is they barely have anything to give. Some people are solely dependent on the monthly visit to the food shelf, yet the food shelf has nothing to offer. Sometimes we’ll walk in the Salvation Army and see families of what seems like 10 people waiting in line. They walk away upset because they barely got anything to feed the children and the parents. The food shelf desperately needs food to give to people; they can’t just supply themselves. Food drives are important for that. Albert Lea High School holds a food drive every year to help give non-perishable food items to the Salvation Army to help families like mine. If more people were to give food to the food drive, the food shelf would be able to give more to needy families. People don’t realize they could be saving a family by simply giving a canned good to the food shelf. It’s really not that hard. I bet half of the food people have in their houses aren’t even eaten and has been sitting there for months without being touched, collecting dust. By having a food drive around Thanksgiving, it gives families hope they will have a nice family dinner with each other. Usually, the Salvation Army offers to give a turkey or ham when you come in, but even that is still difficult for them to guarantee. It may be just a “good deed” to someone, by donating barely what to you may seem like very little. By giving food to the food drive, people might think “well, that’s all that I have to do this year.” In reality, the food shelf needs help daily. Everything helps. This isn’t just about MY family. I know I’m not the only ALHS student who uses the food shelf.