Minnesotans jump to help during No Hunger November

Nearly two years into the pandemic, many families are still struggling to put food on the table.

Officials say the demand at food shelves and meal programs has skyrocketed. So, many programs in the Twin Cities are asking residents to lend a hand during No Hunger November.

Across Minnesota, one in nine families struggles to serve up the next meal.

"Just because the world reopened didn’t mean that the food crisis ended," said Chef Brian Ingram with Hope Breakfast Bar.

Hope Breakfast Bar served up 250,000 meals to families at the start of the pandemic. During the shutdown, he even turned his Hungry Gnome Craft Pub into a food pantry. His restaurants have long since reopened, but hunger persists.

"Those numbers are real. When you see one in nine average homes have food insecurities, one in six kids have food insecurities, that's a crazy number," said Ingram.

Meanwhile, the Walk to End Hunger kicked off at the Mall of America on Monday. Typically, the walk brings in about 5,000 people to the mall every Thanksgiving. But, because of the ongoing pandemic, the walk is being spread out over the entire month. 

This time, registered participants at walktoendhunger.org can come to the Mall of America any time in November and go on a scavenger hunt.

"They receive a participant passport along the walk route. You'll find hunger-related keywords, and if you find five of those keywords, you can enter to win a $250 gift," said Rachel Holmes with Hunger Solutions.      

The money raised will support eight different hunger organizations.

"I can attest firsthand to the power that can really happen behind getting these folks the meals they need when these organizations have the support they need," said Chef Robert Schoonover.