Food drives matter

To the Editor:

Food drives are extremely important to our local food shelf. There are many that have very excellent and extremely important food drives every year, especially the Boy Scouts, postal carriers, school students, the Argus and others.

The truth of the matter is that without these food drives there would be many empty shelves at our local food shelf. Every pound of food is a blessing for someone. Food is something that we need to live and rates right up there with blood and water.

To all you Scouts and students: We really appreciate your efforts. For many, you really do matter!

I have been asked many questions in regard to various food drives. More recently, the question was, “Recently, the Argus stated that in their 2012 drive they raised 15,600 pounds of food. How does the Argus raise all that food?”

In order to understand this answer, we must first understand the background of the Argus food drive. The Argus has a parent company, namely ECM Publishers, which is a very community-minded company. One of their many excellent items in their mission statement is: “Participating actively in community betterment.”

ECM has over 51 publications, of which many are weekly newspapers located in Minnesota. Every year ECM runs a competitive food drive for local food shelves located in the cities in which they publish.

ECM’s local newspaper staff run and are responsible for their local drive. There are many food drives in many various cities with a great difference of population.

Accordingly, ECM has prepared their own rules in order to level the playing field for all the newspaper food drives. One of the rules is that for every $1 they obtain in donations during the food drive, it is worth five pounds of food for the contest purposes. ECM also provides a $300 donation to each local food shelf in which the local newspaper has collected 300 pounds of food.

ECM is an excellent firm for many cities and counties. I might also add that the local Argus staff participate actively in our community for many betterment events, such as the Caledonia Community Education Advisory Council, etc.

The Argus staff has seen to it that the Houston County Food Shelf receives the extra $300 every year.

We sincerely hope that helps all to understand that the Food Shelf in Caledonia did not receive 15,600 actual pounds of food last year. However, the Food Shelf did receive a significant amount of food as a result of the Argus food drive in 2012. The Argus food drive of 2013 will have another successful outcome. If you are not a food donor, start today. God Bless us all.


Larry Salm

Caledonia, MN