Food drive profile: Donations help hairstylist whose hours were cut

Mar 3, 2022

Your donations to The Salvation Army’s March Food Drive help Minnesotans like Melissa (video at bottom). 

Melissa has worked as a hairstylist for 23 years. Ever since the pandemic began, she and others in her profession have been devastated by salon closures, fewer clients, and fewer hours.

“People aren’t coming to get haircuts,” Melissa said. “They are doing it at home or stretching their haircuts out.”

To make matters more difficult, Melissa is the guardian of her 6-year-old granddaughter. Providing food and clothing for the little girl is expensive, and Melissa can’t always afford to cover the costs.

Like so many others, Melissa is stuck in the margins: She doesn’t qualify for unemployment benefits because she works too many hours, yet she isn’t able to work enough hours to earn enough to live.   

“I’m trying my best to make it,” Melissa said. “It’s really hard.”

Thankfully, Melissa can rely on her local Salvation Army food pantry to help make ends meet. She visits there about once a month to pick up essentials like meat, eggs, bread, canned goods, and pasta. 

“We get lots of bread to make sandwiches, garlic bread, and French toast,” Melissa said. “The meat comes in handy because meat is so expensive. 

“If I can get the essentials here, it really helps.”

The Salvation Army operates 22 food pantries and 13 hot meals programs in Minnesota, providing nutritious food for tens of thousands of people like Melissa.

Our March food drive aims to raise 2 million pounds of food, which is equal to about 1.2 million meals. That’s about 25 percent of the meals The Salvation Army Northern Division distributes annually.

Melissa is thankful for her local Salvation Army food shelf and the donors who make it possible.

“It’s the only (food pantry) I come to,” she said. “It’s clean and nice, everybody is friendly, and I don’t feel ashamed.”

Get involved

Please help The Salvation Army raise 2 million pounds of food by donating nonperishables, hosting a food drive, giving a cash donation, or volunteering. 

Donate food: In the Twin Cities, drop off nonperishable foods March 1-31 at any SPIRE Credit UnionSchuler ShoesMorrie’s auto dealer, Salvation Army Store or participating Cub grocery store. See a map of all drop-off locations

In greater Minnesota, drop off nonperishable foods at your local Salvation Army Worship & Service Center anytime in March. 

(High-demand foods include pasta, rice, and peanut butter, plus canned items such as fruit, veggies, and soup.)

Host a food drive: Collect nonperishable foods from friends, neighbors, coworkers, church members, and others. We will send you a Food Drive Starter Kit that includes tips and promotional materials for your website or social media. 

When you’ve finished your collection, bring your food to The Salvation Army’s headquarters in Roseville on Saturday, April 2 for a special drive-thru weigh-in event. (Read about successful grassroots food drives from last year’s collection.) 

Buy a Star Tribune newspaper on Sunday, March 13: Inside the newspaper you’ll find a brown paper bag. Fill the bag with nonperishable foods and bring it to a participating Cub grocery store. See a map of all drop-off locations.

Give a cash donation: Help us feed hungry families by donating online at A gift of just $50 feeds 69 people for a day.

Volunteer: Got extra time? Support our food drive by helping us unload delivery vehicles, weigh food, stock shelves, and more. Sign up to volunteer now

Additional food drive sponsors include WCCO and KS95.



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