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Food Shelves Hit Summer Slump

June 18, 2019 06:39 PM

(ABC 6 News) -- It's as much a part of summer as sunburn and mosquitoes.

And Salvation Army food shelves around the region are asking for your help to get them through an annual shortage.

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“I just come down and I just pick up a couple of odds and ends that I can use, and it helps me out immensely," Dale Kaus told us while making his monthly visit to the food shelf in Austin.

But it happens every year around this time: Donations are going one direction, and demand is going another. At the Salvation Army, they call it the summer slump.

“Our letter carrier drive that we have the Saturday before Mother's Day, which is in May, is our last food drive,” said Lori Espe of the Austin Salvation Army. “We won't see any food drives again until approximately October."

Private donations also go down during the summer as people get busy doing other things, or go on vacation.

So historically, Salvation Army food shelves experience a sharp drop in food donations between May and June. As an example, over the last two years, donations to the Army's eight Twin Cities food shelves fell from an average of 256,000 pounds of food in May, to 71,000 pounds in June.

But need doesn’t go down.

“Oh, no, it stays consistent and sometimes goes up, because the kids are out of school,” Espe said. “Right now there is approximately 250 to 285 families using the food shelf a month."

“I come down once a month and I get a little bit for my refrigerator or my shelf at home, and they generally have a pretty nice variety and you can just take what you want or whatever," Kaus said.

“What we do as a food shelf is, we rely on our resources that we obtain during the year before now, so like when Minnesota Food Share was going on and a person donated that $10, now we're going to use that $10 to buy the food from Channel One, because it's needed more," Espe said.

“Works out great for a lot of people," Kaus added.

Credits

Dan Conradt

Copyright 2019 - KAAL-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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