How to participate

The Greater Minneapolis Council of Churches designates March as a time to raise funds and collect items for 300 food shelves within the state, through an effort called Minnesota FoodShare.

Congregations, civic groups, schools, companies and individuals have done this by holding food drives and fund-raising events on all levels, from bake sales and flower sales to employee offers (“buying” the option to wear jeans to work). For ideas and to register your plans, go to the Minnesota FoodShare website:

A reminder for food donations: Offer only food you would eat yourself. That means no dented cans, nothing out-of-date and definitely not the can of something odd that no one in your family will touch. In addition to food, the sites need paper products, hygiene products and home cleaning supplies.

By the numbers

• Last year the Minnesota FoodShare campaign raised more than $8.3 million and almost 4 million pounds of food. That’s enough to feed more than 7,700 families of four for a year.

• More than 8,500 people per day used a food shelf in Minnesota in 2012.

• The average food-stamp budget today is calculated at $1.40 per meal per person.

Low-cost recipes

Throughout March, the Salvation Army is posting recipes for low-cost meals. Find them at www.salvation