Earlier this week, I visited St. Paul’s Payne Avenue Salvation Army to serve roasted chicken and mashed potatoes with head chef Jeff Ansorge and chat with the kids in the after-school program. The Salvation Army provides everything from basic needs and housing to rehabilitation and counseling to those in need. I was humbled by chef Ansorge, who after working for more than a decade at Minneapolis’ Capital Grille quit his job to run the Salvation Army’s soup kitchen. He overhauled the free hot lunch program at the Payne Avenue location, using fresh ingredients and cutting back on fats and sugars. It’s a fantastic program that deserves applause, check out salvationarmynorth.org for more information on who the Salvation Army serves and to find out how you can help.
March is Minnesota FoodShare month, a massive statewide campaign to restock more than 300 food shelves. The Minnesota FoodShare March Campaign raises more than half the food distributed in the state annually, nearly 4 million pounds of food. Ten percent of Minnesotans receive food assistance, and a third of those are children. The need has never been greater, so find a food shelf near you and donate.
Photographs by Craig Dirkes.