STOCKING RANGE FOOD SHELVES
ANNUAL EVENT IN TWIN CITIES DEC. 21 WILL HAVE GOVERNOR-ELECT DAYTON ATTENDING
ST. PAUL – Organizers of the Stock the Shelves Arrowhead Region Food Shelf Fundraiser are hoping for a little boost in donations this year thanks to added attractions – visits from MN Viking Adrian Peterson, Governor-elect Mark Dayton, and St. Paul Mayor Coleman.
The fourth annual event, which is hosted by Sen. Tom Bakk, DFL-Cook, is set to take place Dec. 21 at The Liffey in St. Paul. The Liffey is located at 175 West 7th Street in St. Paul.
The fundraiser starts with a private reception with Bakk and Dayton for host sponsors from 3:30 to 4 p.m. That is followed by appetizers and cash bar from 4 to 6 p.m.
The suggested donation at the door is $25.
Lydia Bohn, an employee at Lockridge Grindal Nauen, one of the sponsors of the event, said Stock the Shelves started four years ago after she saw a story from the Mesabi Daily News that described a lack of food at Iron Range food shelves.
Inspired by the story, Bohn, a family friend of Bakk’s, approached the senator and asked if she could attach his name to a fundraising event or if he would show up.
Bakk agreed to all of that and more saying he would make some calls himself.
Ten days later the event went off without a hitch and the duo managed to raise $60,000.
They’ve been doing the fundraiser ever since.
“This is the fourth year that I’ve hosted this event and our economy is still slowly recovering from the recession. We still have job losses, stagnant wages, and rapidly rising food costs. And families are still stretched to the limit,” Bakk said via e-mail this week. “We are doing our part to step out and help and I hope that all Minnesotans are taking some time to help others this holiday season.”
Bohn said donations come mostly from corporations and major sponsors and that the money passes through an organization called Hunger Solutions Minnesota to the Arrowhead Economic Opportunity Agency in Virginia, which distributes it to local Arrowhead food shelves.
The amount raised each year has varied, Bohn said, but right now they have pledges for about $30,000.
She’s hoping an appearance by Dayton, for a 30-minute private hang with major sponsors, could bring in some last minute donations.
“This year we are at $30,000 right now and with pending (donations) we are likely to come in higher. And we usually raise $10,000 on the day of the event,” she said, adding that the need to support food shelves is important.
“The need for food shelves will never go away particularly in our economy (today). We’ll keep reaching out and engaging corporations and politicians,” Bohn said. “More and more people are utilizing food shelves.”
Sponsors to the event include Thomson Reuters, Microsoft, Cleveland Cliffs, Minnesota Power, U.S. Steel, Minnesota Energy Resources and Lockridge Grindal Nauen P.L.L.P.
The Liffey is located at 175 West 7th Street in St. Paul.
Bohn said people looking to donate but not wanting to attend the event should contact the AEOA in Virginia.