SAUK RAPIDS – A Sauk Rapids church is asking holiday shoppers help those struggling this season by donating items to their food shelf.

Living Waters Lutheran Church, located at 1911 4th Avenue North, is hosting a drive-up Black Friday Food Drive to help them restock their shelves.

Food shelf

The church, which operates the only community food self in Sauk Rapids, has seen an uptick in use in recent months, according to head pastor Todd Mattson.

“Even last spring, we were only seeing about six to eight people a week stopping by to use it,” Mattson said. “Now, we’re seeing between 30 and 40. With COVID, the amount of traffic has definitely increased.”

Mattson says food shelf operations have changed a bit due to the pandemic.

“Before COVID, people could come here and sort of shop around,” Mattson explained. “Now, they don’t come in, and we give them a couple of bags of basics, and ask them if there’s anything they were looking for that isn’t included in the basic bag.”

Mattson says bags include items like cereal, bread, milk, pasta, spaghetti sauce, tuna, soup, canned vegetables, macaroni and cheese, toilet paper, cheese, hamburger and frozen pizzas. Residents can also request items like butter, household detergents, and pet food. The food shelf has a refrigerator and freezer for storing perishable items.

“Whatever (donors) bring will be put to good use,” Mattson said.

The Black Friday Food Drive will be hosted from 9:00 a.m. to noon. To learn more about the food shelf, visit Living Waters’ website.

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