Need for food assistance in North Shore is up 14% this year. Second Harvest Northern Lakes Food Bank has had their caseload increased for its mothers, children and seniors feeding programs to offset this need.
Cook County Food Shelf volunteer Gwen Lenz said they have seen an increase in need of just under 10%. She added the local food shelf is “holding our own”, but the food disappears quickly. Lenz says cash donations go the farthest, but food drop-offs and contributions from churches and the high school are always welcome – especially for the “grab shelf.”
According to a Second Harvest spokesperson, a recent study found that 86% of households depending on their food programs are food insecure – which means they do not know where their next meal is coming from.
Each month, program participants receive a box of USDA food items, including cans of fruit and vegetables, grain items, dairy items and proteins. The program provided 9,500 of these boxes to mothers, children and seniors last year throughout the Northeast.
A Second Harvest representative will be taking program applications at the Grand Marais Senior Center at 10:30am, Tuesday, May 18 and at the Silver Bay Food Shelf, Wednesday the 19th, at 2pm.
The Mother and Children program is for income eligible mothers who are 6-12 months post-breastfeeding and children age 5 and 6 who are not served by the WIC program. The Nutrition Assistance Program for Seniors is for income eligible seniors over age 60.