The Salvation Army and Rochester Church fill wall with food at community event
ROCHESTER, Minnesota (FOX 47) – Food insecurity continues to be a problem for many people, especially during the pandemic.
“What we’ve seen is that the people who come for us in need are coming more often and for more,” said Rebecca Snapp, director of community engagement for The Salvation Army Rochester. “The pandemic has been terrible, but it has hit the people who are living the paycheck the hardest.”
The Salvation Army is the only food shelf in downtown Rochester. For those without transportation, this is the only resource available to them.
“They’ve also seen a lot of new people using the food shelf this year who’ve never used it before,” said Jim Klepper, Evangel United Methodist education director.
There was an even greater need for the Rochester Salvation Army community food shelf during the pandemic. As supplies dwindled, the church teamed up with the Salvation Army for a food wall drive-through event on Saturday.
“When we know our neighbor is hungry, we just can’t stay silent and stand still,” Klepper said. “We have to do something about it, even in cold weather. We are committed to loving our neighbor.”
Normally Evangel United Methodist has a small wall of food inside, but this year that couldn’t happen due to COVID.
“Now they’ve created a 200-foot food wall,” Snapp said. “I bet this will last us until the end of August.”
Residents drove Saturday morning and afternoon to drop off a variety of non-perishable items at the church. They brought even more than expected.
“I’m thrilled with this, on the moon,” Snapp said. I expected half to be full but it’s overflowing. “
The food donation was a community event with food, live music and mascots.
It also serves a message to those in the Mediterranean city.
“We wanted to create this portrait of what our community can do when we come together for a common purpose,” Klepper said. “We just hope that the image of the food wall sticks in people’s hearts and reminds them that we have a food shortage.”
He says it is also a message for those who need it.
“We hope those who receive the food will remember that a lot of people are taking care of them,” Klepper said.
The Salvation Army’s goal is to open the food shelf to families four times a month during the summer when school is out.