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Emily Shannon, Published September 25 2009

There’s still time to participate in area Hunger Action Month

On behalf of the Cass Clay Hunger Coalition, our food pantries would like to invite you to participate in the 2009 Hunger Action Month this September. Hunger Action Month is an annual event during the month of September that raises awareness about hunger in our communities.

We are seeing changes in our local food pantries. Clients who have gone years without needing to use the food pantries are now returning, many of them saying, “I can’t believe I’m back here again.” The food pantries in our community have seen a drastic increase in numbers because of our recent flood disaster and the economy.

Many people who rely on hourly wages are still recovering from those two weeks in April, when all nonessential businesses were shut down.

A large majority of our clients were not able to receive the hourly wages they were expecting to make it through the month, and are still trying to catch up.

Volunteers have also been witnessing the increase at the food pantries. Most just can’t believe the sheer number of people needing our services. “It wasn’t this busy the last month I volunteered,” one volunteer remarked. It was a very true observation. Many food pantries are experiencing the same dramatic increase in need.

With numbers up at our food pantries, we are in need of community support. During the summertime, our numbers are highest. Paradoxically, that is when we receive the least donations and there are no large food drives. Food pantries in the area are in need of monetary donations and nutritious staples such as beans, rice, canned fruit, dry cereal, dry pasta, peanut butter and canned vegetables. These generous donations help us keep our doors open and our shelves full.

Hunger Action Month is nationwide, and the goal is to mobilize communities to take action against hunger in their communities. We encourage you to act this month. For the entire month of September, we request that all the churches in Fargo-Moorhead hold food drives. This food will go to the Great Plains Food Bank and be distributed among the food pantries in the area.

For a list of all the local activities, please visit www.hungeractionmonth.

com. We hope you join us as we fight for a community where no one goes hungry!

Shannon writes on behalf of the F-M Hunger Coalition Food Pantries: Dorothy Day House Food Pantry; F-M Emergency Food Pantry; REACH – Hawley, Minn.; Salvation Army; SENDCAA; Churches United for the Homeless; YWCA.