Updated: December 17, 2020 09:26 PM
Created: June 05, 2020 03:32 PM
Going grocery shopping may be a shore. Maybe it's an adventure. But it might be impossible if you don't have enough money. Because of the pandemic, there are more resources available.
One is the Farm to Family Food Boxes. Thanks to the CARES Act, farmers are getting paid to provide their produce and dairy products. Those are then package up into boxes, and non-profits like our food banks are getting their hands on them.
In the Twin Ports, you can pick up a Farm to Family Food Box on Wednesday, June 10th, at Wessman Arena at UWS. The pick up time is from 10-11am. It will be done drive-through style. There will be other distributions in June. There are no restrictions on how much you make or where you live.
In Grand Rapids, you can pick them up during the normal hours at Second Harvest North Central Food Bank. They are open Monday-Thursday from 11:30-3pm, at 2222 Cromell Drive.
Sue Estee, executive director of the food bank, said, "We have been able to access some really awesome products that we wouldn't normally be able to. The food we will be providing is a great mix of fresh, healthy food."
Also, the Minnesota Department of Human Services has launched the Pandemic EBT program, to help families who qualify for free or reduced lunch. The DHS will issue a lump sum of $325 per child, and families must use the benefits to purchase food only within a year of the date issued. The state said they will load the money automatically on your card.
If you didn't already receive SNAP benefits, you may need to sign up for the benefits card. You can do so at: http://www.mn.p-ebt.org
Many schools are continuing to serve meals during the summer as well.
Also, a dietician and nutrition consultant provided some advice for families during the Itasca County weekly update. Kristin Klinefelter said the adults should make it easy for kids to make good choices. "Little things like putting the fruit bowl on a table, in sight. Don't leave vegetables in bags. Cut them up and put them in containers, so they are as easy to grab as chips," she said.
Hydration is also key. Encourage your kids to drink plenty of water, by getting cool water bottles and putting out a water jug they can access.
"Avoid saying this is a bad food. No one needs to feel guilty about eating ice cream in the summer," she added. And most importantly, lead by example.
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