Friday, April 19, 2024

The Season of Giving is here

Even though the holiday displays have been in the stores for several weeks now, likewise Black Friday sales, the holiday season is now officially under way.

Among all the holiday activities that will take place in the next month, shopping will be at the top. There are gifts to buy for family and friends.

There is, however, another aspect to giving that most of us also participate in; giving to those who need a little help.

It’s hard to be unaware of the increase in food prices over the past several years. For many people and families these increases have pushed to, or near, food insecurity levels for more people. It is something that can affect everyone, families, single people, senior citizens. And it especially affects children.

The number of people needing help with food has increased nationally, statewide, and locally.

In Minnesota, according to statistics from Hunger Solutions, food shelf visits in the state hit a record high in 2022, up almost two million visits over 2021.

Broken down by counties, those statistics also showed that visits to Dodge County food shelves increased from 9,057 in 2021 to 15,662 in 2022, a 77.3% increase. With six weeks to go in 2023 there is no indication that the problem is decreasing. Staff at the Dodge County Food Shelf in Kasson said the number of families needing their services continues to increase. Currently, Director Jami Morris said, well over 500 families in Dodge County are using the services of the Food Shelf. Add in the families using food shelves and pantries operated by churches and students receiving assistance through “backpack” programs and the depth of the situation becomes obvious.

There is no doubt that Dodge County residents have a history of being generous to their neighbors in need.

Just recently, contributions to the Food Shelf have come from the Kasson-Mantorville Ministerial group through a new “Boo for Food” activity on Halloween. Back in September the Kasson-Mantorville Lions sponsored a scrap drive where people dropped off recyclable metal items that were taken to McNeilus Steel and sold. Last week the Lions presented the check of the profits to the Food Shelf. Also last week the Triton FFA students dropped off more than 700 pounds of food at the Food Shelf.

In addition to directly giving to the Food Shelf there are many other ways local residents are stepping up to help.

The Salvation Army is out with the Red Kettle Campaign to raise funds that will be used to help Dodge County residents. Likewise, funds raised through the Care and Share event last week will also be used to help Kasson and Mantorville residents through the holiday season and throughout the year. Many Dodge County communities also have sharing and giving trees on display where one can pick up a tag with an anonymous family listed who could use help with Christmas gifts for children. Toys for Tots is also in action.

Yes, Dodge County residents are generous. But as the needs continue to grow, it is important for those of us who are able, to maybe dig a little deeper and contribute a little bit more to help our neighbors.

After all, that is the spirit of Christmas.




Dodge County Independent

Dodge County Independent
Dodge County ADvantage
301 S. Mantorville Ave.
Plaza 57 • Suite 200
Kasson, MN 55944

Dodge County Printing
301 S. Mantorville Ave.
Plaza 57 • Suite 200
Kasson, MN 55944

Monday-Thursday 10a.m.-3p.m.