ECHO food shelf bracing for increased demand following end of pandemic SNAP benefits

With about 350 Thousand Minnesotans losing their SNAP benefits yesterday, food shelves across the state are getting ready for an increased demand.
Published: Mar. 2, 2023 at 7:58 PM CST
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MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) - In Mankato, the emergency community help organization better known as the ECHO food shelf distributes to 1,700 households every month. Yet lately the number has been growing.

“A lot of the time it just seems like we’re serving more than what we thought we are and with less resources. we have less volunteers and that also makes it difficult for us,” said ECHO manager Deisy de Leon Esqueda.

SNAP emergency food benefits ended March 1, impacting over 350,000 Minnesotans. On top of that inflation has families looking for these services.

“We are experiencing an increase in demand and the number of families that are requesting our services. and then also the number of families that are new to our program or every line on these programs for the first time or for the first time in a really long time.”

Which keeps volunteers on their feet at all times.

“I really appreciate the busier days because it means we’re getting people what they need.

Yet, ECHO says they aren’t strangers to this kind of challenge.

“You know where we’re doing what we have always done. we’re making sure that we are purchasing food that our shelves are always filled with. we’re trying to find ways to serve our clients more efficiently. "

Echo food shelf is always looking for volunteers and donations.

A benefit for Echo Food Shelf is taking place at Saints Peter and Paul Catholic Church in Mankato Sunday, March 5 from 4-7pm. The meal includes spaghetti, breadsticks and a dessert. There is also a silent auction. Feel will donations are accepted.