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Local food banks asking for more helping hands this holiday season

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DULUTH, MN-- Giving back this last year has been feeding Steve Wedel's soul.

Wedel volunteers his time at Second Harvest Northern Lakes food bank. "A couple of days a week I try to help out here," said Wedel.

Second Harvest Northern Lakes typically serves around 1,600 people throughout eight counties in Northeastern Minnesota and Northwestern Wisconsin.

They've been helping even more families put food on the table since the pandemic started. That need grew more than 10% when federal funding ran out.

"Since about August, when the stimulus funds ran out. We did start to see an uptick regionally at all of our 40 area food shelves," said Executive Director Shaye Moris.

Northern Lakes is always helping more families come the holiday season, added Moris.

"We see people you know have home heating costs, that's an addition," she said. "People want to spend the holidays like all of our neighbors. It's a time where there is more need and requires more support."

But with COVID-19 and Governor Walz's newly announced restrictions, volunteers like Wedel are needed at local food banks now more than before.

"It's an important time, especially with COVID," said Moris. "It's an important time of year and season to helping others in our community. We're looking for volunteers, financial support that will really help."

For Wedel, he knows lending a helping hand truly makes a difference for those in need.

"There's a lot of people out of work who are really struggling to get enough food on the table," he said.

For more information on how to volunteer or donate click here.

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Emma Quinn

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