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Second Harvest Working to Improve Food Access in Cloquet

Ryan Juntti
Updated: November 12, 2019 10:40 PM

Second Harvest Northern Lakes Food Bank is working to improve food access in Carlton County, and the Cloquet area, which they have identified as an area where there is a higher need for food resources.

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Now Second Harvest is going to be conducting a survey to hear from those experiencing hunger about what they want to see done about it.

One of those experiencing hunger in Cloquet is Sue Sroka, a Cloquet resident who visits the Salvation Army Food Shelf in Cloquet every two or three months.

"They don't give very much. They do what they can, but it's the only food shelf around," said Sroka, "When I was in there today (Tuesday) they didn't have any meat left and it's really limited," said Sroka.

For Sroka, it's the only option outside of traveling to Duluth or Superior, so she says she would like to see more food shelves in Cloquet.

"More and more people in Carlton County are using the food shelves. They need it, especially in the winter, and it would be great to have another alternative," said Sroka.

Sroka isn't the only one who depends on food shelves for her everyday meals. Second Harvest Northern Lakes Food Bank Executive Director Shaye Moris, says the survey conducted will help them understand how they can best meet the needs of those experiencing hunger.

"With the available resources in that county, and obviously the high need, we'd like to connect the resources to the people that need them most. We don't know what that format could look like, whether it's food shelves in existence, assisting with that additional service, if it's Second Harvest providing a program. It really is up to the participants to really let us know what would be helpful," said Moris.

In addition to Carlton County, Moris says the goal is for Second Harvest to expand this initiative to the other counties they serve in the Northland as well. Those are St. Louis, Lake, Cook, Douglas, Bayfield, Ashland, and Iron.

And with the holidays coming up, Sroka says making sure there is enough food for everyone is as important as ever.

"Especially in the winter with Christmas and kids and the price of everything it just helps everything spread just a little bit farther, helps people get by and we really need that. Everybody counts on it," said Sroka.

People can also take the survey in person from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. on Thursday, November 21 at Second Harvest's Mobile Food Pantry located at Our Savior's Lutheran Church in Cloquet.

Second Harvest is also looking for volunteers to help conduct the survey, and is encouraging anyone experiencing hunger to participate in it.

WDIO is partnering with local organizations to identify issues and to coordinate our community response. We can accomplish great things when we come together as a community. To learn more about Second Harvest Northern Lakes Food Bank, visit WDIO Creating Change. Be part of the solution.

Credits

Ryan Juntti

Copyright 2019 WDIO-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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