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Help Bag Hunger with a trip to local grocery stores

The Minnesota Grocers Association is encouraging consumers statewide to bag hunger in their neighborhoods by shopping at participating retailers during the 2017 Bag Hunger Campaign.

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The Minnesota Grocers Association is encouraging consumers statewide to bag hunger in their neighborhoods by shopping at participating retailers during the 2017 Bag Hunger Campaign.

The Minnesota Grocers Association is encouraging consumers statewide to bag hunger in their neighborhoods by shopping at participating retailers during the 2017 Bag Hunger Campaign.

All food and monetary contributions collected in-store will go to local food banks and shelves to benefit hungry Minnesota families.

Bag Hunger is a three-way partnership with grocers, vendors, and consumers aimed at increasing donations to Minnesota food shelves. The MGA coordinates the program across the state and has over 250 retail participants and seven vendor partners. Since 2008, the MGA's hunger campaigns have provided 36 million meals to families in Minnesota and has set a goal of 10 million meals for 2017, bringing total support to 46 million meals.

"Our grocers and vendor partners share consumers' concerns for providing food and necessities to local families in need," said Jamie Pfuhl, president of the Minnesota Grocers Association, in a news release. "The participating retailers and vendors are proud to bring the Bag Hunger Campaign to our communities, to help increase donations to their local food shelves, and to benefit area families during difficult economic times."

Grocers and vendor partners will offer many ways for consumers to 'bag hunger' in their communities including some of the following options:

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• Food Drive-Buy items in the store and donate them to local food shelves;

• In-Store Promotions-Purchase specially marked items and vendor partners will donate an additional monetary amount to local food shelves; and

• "I Bagged Hunger" Icons-Customers may contribute to food shelves at the register and sign a grocery list icon that will be displayed prominently in the store.

The Bag Hunger Campaign will be actively driving the program online and via social media. The public website www.mngrocers.com will have live links to participating vendor and retail websites encouraging consumers to support sponsoring companies and assist in a statewide fight to bag hunger by shopping for products identified by the Bag Hunger logo at their local grocers. There will also be a link to allow the public to donate to their community food support agency. The campaign will be on Twitter and Facebook, using the name @MNGrocers to track the program's progress of reaching 10 million meals.

"During this time of economic challenge, the Bag Hunger Campaign provides an excellent opportunity to increase awareness of a social issue that affects all of our communities," Pfuhl said. "By raising funds, increasing public support, and promoting local food shelf donations, the Minnesota food industry and consumers truly can make a difference in the fight to end hunger."

The Minnesota Grocers Association is a state trade association representing the food industry since 1897. The association reports having over 200 retail members with nearly 1,100 stores statewide, as well as about 100 distributors and manufacturers. Its member companies employ over 125,000 union and non-union Minnesotans.

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