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Second Harvest Heartland volunteers making a difference for hungry Minnesotans

We've all heard how the pandemic, supply chain issues, and inflation hurt Americans. Now you get to see how the volunteers are making a difference.

BROOKLYN PARK, Minn. — Hunger is still here in the heartland, and it's only gotten worse with the pandemic and other crises. "Increased consumer prices, gas is off the charts, food at grocery stores is off the charts. People need more help than they ever have before," explained Second Harvest Heartland's CEO, Allison O'Toole.

Instead of feeling disheartened, O'Toole says Second Harvest Heartland is strengthening its resolve to feed Minnesotans. "We're really the backbone of the hunger relief network. We count on our team, our unstoppable team, to source and distribute food every day to area food shelves." 

That team includes volunteers like Terri Christy, a retiree from Saint Louis Park. KARE 11 caught up with he while she and others were packing supplies for the elderly. "When you think of one in seven children not having enough food, I have to think about my neighbor kid just standing on the corner waiting for the bus," said Christy. 

And the trauma of hunger isn't always evident on the surface. "Everything can be so hidden, but that doesn't mean the need isn't real," noted Christy. "If you're hungry, you can't go to school as well; you can't learn as well, you don't work as well, you don't parent as well." 

And that's why this 24-hour day of giving is critical. 

RELATED: Second Harvest Heartland, KARE 11 partner for 'Day of Giving'

"We're trying to raise money to provide a million meals to this community. So, we need this community to stick with us and help us make it happen," said O'Toole.  

Second Harvest Heartland's volunteers need all of the support they can get. So if you have the gift of time, they'll take it. There are volunteer shifts every day.

RELATED: First Minneapolis farmers market opening for the season

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