Event raises $100K plus for NE Minn. food shelvesby Julie Siple, Minnesota Public Radio
ST. PAUL, Minn. — Food shelves in northern Minnesota will benefit from an event Tuesday evening hosted by Minnesota's incoming Senate Majority Leader, Tom Bakk.
The annual fundraiser raised more than $100,000 for Arrowhead food shelves, which saw about 75,000 visits in the first eight months of the year. The fundraiser began six years ago when Iron Range food shelves ran low.
More jobs will help the problem of hunger in the state, Bakk said. Hunger is growing in Minnesota, he said, but jobs will do more to help people currently relying on food shelves and government assistance.
"Nothing's more important than people having a job. A job replaces a lot of other government programs that people are dependent on," Bakk said. "I'm going to work very hard over the next four years as Majority Leader of the Senate to make job creation, economic expansion, the priority."
Bakk, a DFL senator from Cook, said need is still high. Food shelf use remains at record levels in Minnesota and on the Iron Range.
"We've got a very elderly population. We've got a lot of our communities that are about 50 percent retirees," Bakk said. "What's really unique to the Range is because of the number of bankruptcies that the steel industry went through, many people had their pensions drastically reduced. Some of them lost them completely. They lost the health care. Many of those retirees are really struggling."
Gov. Mark Dayton and Vikings' linebacker Chad Greenway also attended the event.