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4-H clover 4-H'ers can help build partnerships with their local food shelf

July 24, 2020
non-perishable foods

Thanks to a gift from Compeer Financial, Minnesota 4-H has a special Helping Hands Award opportunity available.

New data forecast a coming hunger crisis in Minnesota unlike anything seen since the Great Depression. Before the onset of COVID-19, 1-in-11 Minnesotans struggled to afford healthy food. By August of 2020, it’s expected that 1-in-8 will experience hunger. That's an increase of 275,000 Minnesotans—including 112,000 kids.

Food shelves across Minnesota expect a 65% increase in demand across both rural and urban communities through the remainder of 2020 and into 2021 as a result of challenging economic conditions tied to COVID-19.

This special round of Helping Hands Awards will support 4-H clubs and county 4-H programs that want to partner with a local food shelf or nutrition organization to organize a healthy food or essential supply drive in their community. Dollars could be used to purchase online advertising, create signage, or secure other items 4-H'ers might need to help them engage the public.

Submit an idea 

You can submit a project proposal online.

  • Projects can begin anytime and must be completed by Dec. 31, 2020.
  • Most awards will be $150-500, exceptional ideas may receive more.
  • Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis starting Aug. 10, 2020.
  • Dollars will be disbursed as ideas are received until funds are exhausted.
  • Dollars must be used to engage the public and encourage volunteerism.
  • Dollars can not be used to buy food to be donated.
  • Dollars will be disbursed to federations or councils. 
    • If a 4-H club or afterschool program receives an award the federation or council will need to forward dollars to the specific group they support


Five groups have already received awards, and we're excited to see what they accomplish this fall. Congratulations to each of them.

  • Ramsey County 4-H – Essential Supply Drive, $200
  • Big Stone County 4-H – Feeding Growing Minds for a Healthy Future, $300
  • North St. Louis County 4-H – #BeaSouperHero, $500
  • Dakota County 4-H – Free Little Pantries, $900
  • Chisago County 4-H – Enhance Support for Viking Vittles, $600
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