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Battling hunger during the holidays

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ROCHESTER, Minn. (FOX 47) — The state of Minnesota is facing a food crisis according to Gov. Tim Walz.

One in eight adults and one in five children are facing hunger this year. Struggling families during the pandemic doesn’t help that cause.

“Many of these people are in this position because they are protecting their neighbors’ health,” Walz said. “They are in industries that needed to close to stop the spread of the virus.”

Some families have never been in a position of need like this before.

“Whether its getting Christmas toys for their children or other services, we’re anticipating over a 30% increase over last year for the amount of people who are going to be coming to us,” said Maj. Lisa Mueller of the Rochester Salvation Army. “People who didn’t need our help last year, they might have been donating last year and this year they’re in a different place as we all are.”

Here in Rochester the Salvation Army has teamed up with restaurant Chez Bojji, who will be passing out curbside, carryout food all day on Thanksgiving to anyone who needs it. The Salvation Army will be open to those who get the food but have nowhere to eat it from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Even Minnesota farmers have been helping the state out with some of their crops going directly to feed those who need it.

Mueller said while getting those fed on Thanksgiving is a big priority, they’re also working on their annual toy drive. More than 2,000 children in the area are expected to need toys this Christmas.

The Salvation Army is also focused on the annual Red Kettle fundraising campaign. It helps help keep the Salvation Army alive. This year, there is a virtual Red Kettle Campaign where people can set up their own kettles online for friends and family to donate to.

Zach Fuller

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