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The Rosemount Family Resource Center distributes food to area residents.

Increase in demand at food shelf

The Rosemount Family Resource Center could use some help.

With a rise in unemployment, and incomes reduced, families are seeking more food.

For the past few months, 360 Communities has handing out about 40 percent more food than normal in Rosemount.

“It’s gone up,” said Tony Compton, 360 Communities communication director. “It’s not necessarily the number of people, but we’re distributing more food.”

Several of 360 Communities’ regular volunteers are part of the vulnerable population susceptible to COVID-19, so they pulled back.

“We don’t want to expose them to any unnecessary risks,” Compton said.

Several new volunteers have stepped up in their absence, but the calendar still has gaps.

More volunteers are needed to help pick up rescue food from area grocery stores, stock shelves, sort donations, inventory food and even help kids with their homework.

The Rosemount Family Resource Center set up a specific volunteer registration link for its site at 360communities.org/volunteer/.

“We need to fill them,” Compton said. “We’re basically looking for people who are in that lower risk category. We’re doing everything we can with masks and safety protocol at all of our sites. So college students looking for volunteer work. People who are recently laid off looking to plug back in. There are a lot of teachers helping.”

The good news is donations have gone up.

“We’re getting people served and getting back to a normal,” Compton said. “We don’t know what normal will be yet. We’re concerned about the long-term stability of people. I think we all want this to be over but we don’t really know what over means. But we do think it’s going to be tough for a while yet.”

Typically during the summer months there’s an increase in demand while donations are lean.

“People just aren’t around as much with summer vacation going on,” Compton said. “But now everybody is home. We’ve seen donations from the community go way up, which is helpful. We’re going to need it for the foreseeable future.”

With the school year coming to a close, 360 Communities expects an even bigger increase in demand.

District 196 has distributed more than 320,000 food packs districtwide during the last few months.

“Kids are receiving two meals a day in school, sometimes three,” Compton said. “That free and reduced lunch is a huge asset, but there will be a bigger gap when school is out for summer.”

360 Communities also has food shelves in Apple Valley (Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church, 12650 Johnny Cake Ridge Road), Burnsville (501 East Highway 13, Suite 112), Lakeville (Messiah Lutheran Church, 16725 Highview Ave.), and Farmington (510 Walnut St.).

The Burnsville food shelf could also use a few helping hands, Compton said, and Farmington could use more donations.

“There’s so much need in Farmington because they lost their grocery story there,” Compton said.

For more information visit 360communities.org/resources/food-shelves/

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