MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) — This week, Hy-Vee in downtown Mankato is accepting monetary donations to help Echo Food Shelf keep fresh produce in stock.
Anyone who shops at the Hy-Vee on South Riverfront Drive will have the option to donate five or 10 dollars that will go directly to Echo.
Echo will then be able to use that money to keep fruits and vegetables like apples, and dairy products like milk, in stock.
Debbin Johnston is one of many Echo customers who try to look for healthy options when they shop.
“Usually the fresh produce, and then the meat obviously is a big one, but we get lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, which is a big help," she said.
Along with monetary donations, food donations can also help customers like Johnston when they're looking for food.
According to Hy-Vee Dietitian Holly Ellison, people should think about what healthy items they would like to eat when considering donating.
“But thinking about those other, like, freeze dried produce options, you can get like freeze dried peas or frozen fruits and veggies are a great donation," she said.
Ellison added that people should call ahead to make sure that food shelves are accepting fresh produce.
When it comes to dairy items, Ellison said it can be hard to keep them fresh, but like this week’s donations, Ellison said that food shelves are always looking for milk and dairy dollars so they can purchase fresh milk, yogurt and cheeses.
Ellison also said education is a big part of eating healthy for those who rely on food shelves.
She said Hy-Vee’s website has a way to search what recipes can be made from ingredients you currently have.
Johnston said people should donate healthy items if they can.
“Because I know that a lot of people do come here especially seeking out those," she said.