Volunteering Mavericks: ECHO holds holiday food drive

The MNSU Veteran’s Club and the Mankato Grange are combining their efforts this holiday season to support families and individuals in need within the local community.

The clubs are hosting a food drive to obtain personal care and baking items for ECHO Food Shelf. Philip Daniel, and Joe Itoh from the Veteran’s Club as well as Emma Edelen and Anna Ammerman from the Mankato Grange are managing the project that will collect items from Monday, Oct. 24 to Wednesday, Nov. 23.

“The Emergency Community Help Organization (ECHO) provides emergency food assistance to people in Blue Earth County and North Mankato,” reads the ECHO Food Shelf website.

ECHO provides monthly assistance to nearly 1,500 homes and distributes over 100,000 pounds of food. During their Thanksgiving Basket Distribution program, ECHO serves over 3,000 homes in the local area, and the MNSU Veteran’s and Grange Clubs are hoping to alleviate some of that burden.

Drop-offs can be made in the Veteran’s Resource Center in the CSU 167 Monday through Friday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. or in the CSU tabling events held on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Individuals who are not able to donate items are encouraged to volunteer their time at ECHO Food Shelf instead. Prizes will be awarded to individuals and RSOs who donate the most items or volunteer hours. Prizes include assorted packages from donors such as Weggy’s, the Maverick Bookstore and others.

“Many grocers in the area provide Thanksgiving dinner items to families in need, but oftentimes the essentials for personal care are not included in their donations,” said Anna Ammerman, Mankato Grange member.

By providing basic items such as toothbrushes and laundry soap, donors are helping people who may be down on their luck remain dignified. Baking items are also overlooked when donating near the holidays and many families bond over cookie and pie making, especially this time of year. Every family in our community deserves to have a joyful holiday season, and the Mankato Grange and the MNSU Veteran’s Club are hoping to spread the holiday blessings by encouraging donations to ECHO Food Shelf.

Questions, comments or suggestions about the drive can be forwarded by email to: mankatogrange@mnsu.edu.

Interested volunteers should contact Daisy from ECHO Food Shelf at (507) 345-7477. If you are unable to donate items, you are welcome to volunteer hours at ECHO food shelf – each hour will count as five items.

Who: All MNSU students, staff, community members and faculty are welcome.

What: A baking and personal care drive to benefit ECHO Food Shelf.

When: The drive will run from Monday 10/24 – Wednesday 11/23.

Where: Drop off in the Veteran’s Resource Center (CSU 167) from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday or at the table in the CSU on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

Why: To provide assistance to those in our community who need extra support. (Also, there are prizes for top donors – it’s a win/win!)

Some Ideas for Items:
Chocolate Chips
Pre-made pie crusts (not refrigerated or frozen)
Pie Fillings (boxed or canned)
Pie making ingredients-
Prepackaged Cake/Cookie/Muffin Mixes
Dish Soap
Laundry Detergent
Other non-perishable items are welcome as well.

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