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Food shelf challenge grant announced

Miller to represent Minnesota in Florida pageant

Gabriella Miller, age 6, daughter of David Braverman and Terina Miller, Brainerd, has been selected to represent Minnesota at the 2012 Miss American Princess Pageant.

As the Minnesota princess, Miller will be attending the national pageant for her age group in Florida and Disney World during the week of Thanksgiving. She will compete for the National Pageant title of Miss American Princess and thousands of dollars in cash awards, prizes and scholarships.

Along with her princess title, she won first place in modeling and second place in speech.

Miller is a first grader at Riverside Elementary School in Brainerd.

Food shelf challenge grant announced

PILLAGER — The Pillager Food Shelf and Open Your Heart to the Hungry and Homeless announce the third annual $100,000 Food Shelf Challenge Grant.

The more funds the Pillager Food Shelf raises in July, means that the Open Your Heart grant will be larger. Minnesota food shelves raised more than $1,000,000 last year with this grant and hope to outpace that this year.

This challenge will help increase awareness of the need in the Pillager area. Every dollar collected will be part of the July campaign and leverage more dollars of the Pillager Food Shelf.

Open Your Heart to the Hungry and Homeless believes this approach to hunger alleviation is effective because it brings communities together to solve a growing concern across Minnesota. The $100,000 Challenge will power a statewide initiative that leverages Open Your Heart funding to bring additional dollars to food shelves and increase awareness of child hunger during the summer.

Minnesota food shelves help families obtain the groceries they cannot afford to purchase on their own. Food shelves are pressured to respond to child hunger during the summer. Only one in six low-income children who ate a school lunch during the regular school year is reached by the federally funded summer nutrition programs. During the school year, more than half of the Pillager students are eligible for free/reduced lunch and are fed breakfast and lunch at the school. During the summer, feeding children falls on families at home and this can be a financial strain for some families so the Pillager Food Shelf is used more during the summer.

In the past decade in Minnesota, the number of children living in poverty has increased by 53 percent, the Pillager Food Shelf reported. That means one in five families with children is now at risk for hunger in Minnesota. Currently in Minnesota, 37 percent of all K-12 public school students are eating subsidized meals, the food shelf reported.

The Pillager Food Shelf is located at and operated by the Pillager Family Center, a nonprofit 501(c) 3 corporation serving families (household) in the Pillager area for 20 years. The Pillager Family Center works with families to help them find the resources and services they may need. The Pillager Family Center is available to help every family, no matter what the need level may be. The website is and the telephone number is (218) 746-4009.

Denton (Denny) Newman Jr.
I've worked at the Brainerd Dispatch with various duties since Dec. 7, 1983. Starting off as an Ad Designer and currently Director of Audience Development. The Dispatch has been an interesting and challenging place to work. I'm fortunate to have made many friends, both co-workers and customers.
(218) 855-5889