Mayo Clinic Health System donated thousands of food items to the Committee Against Domestic Abuse (C.A.D.A.) this month, for Sexual Assault Awareness Month. 

Community Relations Officer Christi Wilking said the donations came from Mayo Clinic Health System employees, who raised about 5,000 pounds of food. 

"Our community connections committee was really interested in partnering with C.A.D.A. because April is sexual assault awareness month," said Wilking. 

"We really looked at what organizations in our community, are addressing that need, and that's definitely C.A.D.A. in the Mankato Area."

Wilking reached out to the organization for ideas on how to help, and the center suggested a food drive. 

The employees raised the large amount of donations in just two weeks. 

C.A.D.A. Executive Director Jason Mack said Wilking approached him with the great idea.

"She said that there could be probably a van load and two vehicles, instead they came with multiple vehicles and a whole trailer, so it was a lot more than we anticipated," said Mack.

"And we're really excited about what that means for our shelter residents."

The donation should last the shelter for about 5 months, which Mack said is a significant contribution.

He added that actions like this are necessary for the community.

"Well I think it's really important that organizations and community members come together to raise awareness about sexual assault in our community," said Mack.

"And also stand up to do something about that."

Mack said Mayo Clinic Health Systems also donated $5,000 to renew the center's playground for children staying at the shelter. 

It will install outdoor art and therapeutic musical instruments. 

C.A.D.A has events lined up for the month including the "Give Back the Night" fundraiser on April 18 and the "Walk a Mile in Her Shoes" event on April 22. 

--KEYC News 12