Bloomington Public Schools will host its Ninth Annual District-wide Food Drive April 24-28 to help fill the shelves at VEAP's (Volunteers Enlisted to Assist People) food pantry at one of the most critical times of the year.
All Bloomington public schools and early childhood centers, the district’s central departments, and a number of business partners will collect non-perishable food items and cash donations. Contributions can be dropped off at each school’s main office throughout the week.
For each dollar donated, VEAP can purchase up to $7 worth of food through its purchasing power with local food banks. Last year, food and cash donations totaled over 67,000 pounds of food. The goal this year is 70,000 pounds.
Schools are invited to enlist business partners to aid in the collection effort. Collected donations from business partners are added to schools’ totals. Businesses currently participating include Avtex, Bloomington Police and Fire departments, General Dynamics, Loffler Companies, Martin Luther Care Centers, Olympic Place Office Tower, Richfield Bloomington Credit Union, Thorud, Inc., Toro, and Yale Mechanical.
VEAP serves low-income individuals and families in Bloomington, Edina, Richfield, and South Minneapolis. The organization's food pantry at 9600 Aldrich Ave. in Bloomington, serves nearly 8,000 people each month, making it the largest food distribution center in Minnesota, according to Nathan Rust, VEAP food program manager.
“Bloomington schools’ food drive comes at a high-demand time of year,” said Rust. “When school is out for the summer, a lot of the children who qualify for free and reduced-price meals do not have regularly scheduled meals.”
The School Board’s Student Advisory Council and Parent Teacher Student Association (PTSA) Council coordinate this annual event, which has collected more than 342,600 pounds of food since its inception. For more information, contact the district’s Community Relations Office at 952-681-6403.