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Local 201 members get into holiday spirit by helping hungry kids

Local 201 members have made the weekend a bit easier for kids who don’t have enough food in their homes. As part of MAPE's 2017 Community Service Days, eight Local 201 members and their families contributed a trunk full of food donations. They then packed food bags at The Sheridan Story in Roseville.

Local 201 food members

In the photo on the right, Local 201 volunteers assist hungry children at The Sheridan Project in Roseville.

The Sheridan Story provides students at risk of hunger with four-to-five-pound bags of non-perishable food. Bags of food are discreetly placed in their backpacks on Fridays so they’ll have food over the weekend. The organization raises money, collects food donations and has food-packing events similar to ones organized by Feed My Starving Children.

During the spring of 2010, the administration at Sheridan Elementary School in northeast Minneapolis discovered students hoarding food from the cafeteria on Fridays. More than 90 percent of students at Sheridan receive free or reduced lunches, and many students were taking extra food home to eat during the weekend.

Local 201 groceries

In the photo on the right, food donations collected by Local 201 to raise awareness about hunger in our communities.

Local 201 is also planning a chili contest next month to raise money for The Sheridan Story. Volunteers are being recruited to make chili, and members will vote on the chili cook-off winner during their Jan. 4 meeting. “We will be donating the money we usually spend on our own lunch for the meeting to The Sheridan Story, along with any other donations we get,” said Local 201 Treasurer Lisa Lazaretti.

Lazaretti added that they probably won’t be able to serve anyone outside of Local 201. “We probably don’t have seating for more people -- we fill that room to standing room only. Our local is so active -- it’s a blessing.”

Lazaretti, who works for MN.IT at the Department of Human Services, wants to raise awareness about the real issue of hunger in our communities, noting that 200,000 children in Minnesota are at risk of not having enough food. She also is looking for more chili chefs for Local 201’s Jan. 4 meeting so members can donate even more money to The Sheridan Story.