The Open Your Heart Summer Challenge began on July 1st.
Open Your Heart to the Hungry and Homeless will make a proportional match to donations to participating food shelves during the month of July, up to $5,000. The more funds food shelves raise in July, the larger the matching grant from Open Your Heart to the Hungry and Homeless will be. Minnesota food shelves raised over $1,400,000 last year with this grant and hope to outdo that this year!
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“We depend upon the generosity of our community, we don’t have huge corporations that funnel excessive dollars in, so when we get these opportunities for these sizable grants, these $5,000 matching grants, we really try to capitalize on them,” said Captain Jim Brickson of the Albert Lea Salvation Army.
Ed Murphy is executive director of the group Open Your Heart to the Hungry and Homeless, which is putting on the challenge along with Hunger Solutions Minnesota. He said demand on food shelves increases during the summer, when children who receive free or reduced-priced school lunches are at home. “Summer is also not a good time for food shelves in terms of securing donations,” said Murphy. “People are busy with their summer plans and vacations. It’s historically a time that food shelves have very low donations. So this is an important time to be adding some funds into food shelves, where they can better meet their growing needs.”