The holiday season is here, as too many Minnesotans still struggle with food insecurity.
New state support is on the way, but with record demand forecast, food shelves are encouraging assistance in a variety of ways.
Recently, Governor Tim Walz announced five-million dollars in American Rescue Plan funding will be redirected to hunger relief locations around the state.
Virginia Witherspoon Merritt, with the Channel One Regional Food Bank in Rochester, says they're seeing upward trends, too.
As for the public's help, Merritt says donating money is often the best approach, because it allows food shelves to buy the items they need. And she urges Minnesotans to consider volunteering.
She says many of the smaller food shelves are entirely reliant on volunteers. That includes driving trucks and stocking items.
Channel One Regional Food Bank serves 14 Southeastern Minnesota counties, including Goodhue and Wabasha, and western Wisconsin through a network of 183 food shelves, pantries and programs.