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Food insecurity
CAP Agency partners with Minnesota FoodShare for food shelf fundraiser

The CAP Agency of Scott, Carver and Dakota counties is partnering with Minnesota FoodShare to raise funds for the food shelf.

From Feb. 27 through April 9, Minnesota FoodShare is matching any donations made to the CAP Agency through its “Minnesota FoodShare March Campaign” in hopes of benefiting the organization’s food shelf and increasing its ability to serve the community.

The CAP Agency has worked with Minnesota FoodShare for many years, according to CAP Agency Planning Manager Rachel Bean.

“The work we do on our own is supported by their initiatives. It’s a real collaboration and a joint effort to raise funds for food shelves,” she said about Minnesota FoodShare.

According to Minnesota FoodShare’s page, the campaign has helped stock nearly 300 food shelves and distributed more than $18.5 million around the state since 1982.

“We envision a future where all Minnesotans have access to healthy food and no one struggles with food insecurity,” the campaign states on its website.

Bean noted that in the last couple years, this support has been needed more than ever. Between September 2021 and October 2022, the CAP Agency provided food to 23,000 people in the community via its food shelter and over 103,000 people total through all of the agency’s food distribution efforts.

Bean said these numbers are an increase from previous years, attributing this to families struggling to bounce back from the pandemic as well as rising food costs.

The agency’s goal for the current campaign is to raise $125,000 and collect 225,000 pounds of food to support the community.

They hope to reach these monetary and food goals through community outreach with businesses and organizations, restaurants, churches, grocery stores and community members from Scott, Carver and Dakota counties.

Groups can get involved with donating through directly contacting the agency or giving through a link on the agency’s website. Donations will go toward purchasing food for the food shelf at reduced costs and potentially buying additional supplies for the food shelf like a floor scrubber.

In addition to raising funds, Bean said the campaign is a great way to raise community awareness about food insecurity within the southwest metro. The campaign leads up to the CAP Agency’s Build a Better Future fundraising event, which will take place April 22 at Canterbury Park.

Ticket sales for this event during the March campaign will also go toward the campaign goals.

The Woodbury Chorus and Orchestra will also be performing a concert at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Prior Lake March 26, with any free will offering money going toward the CAP Agency.

“The work that we do is a safety net for all of our partners, and we couldn’t do it without the community,” Bean said. “It’s in our mission to help people achieve social and economic wellbeing in partnership with the community.”

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Shakopee donut shop goes viral in social media video

A kind gesture caught on camera at Sabbai’s The Donut Hole in Shakopee has been viewed millions of times in the last month through a viral video.

The social media account “Dose of Kindness” posted a video onto TikTok and Facebook Feb. 11, showing the account owner walking into The Donut Hole and asking to purchase donuts before pretending to have forgotten his wallet.

Owner Sothy Minh and her daughter Alisa Minh, seen in the video, agreed that it was fine for the man to still have the donuts despite not being able to pay at the time.

Since being uploaded, the video has gathered more than 5.7 million views on TikTok and millions more on Facebook.

The Donut Hole has been running in Shakopee since January 2021. Staff member Ashley Minh said the business is “a family affair” since the staff is comprised of her and her mom, dad, sister, brother-in-law, cousins and, occasionally, brother and uncle.

“Sometimes you’ll see 15 people in the back because all of my family will come at one time, and they’ll all come in the back and talk and catch up,” she said.

Sothy Minh mentioned in the video that during the height of the COVID pandemic, people donated money to the donut shop. She instead chose to send this money to help families in Cambodia, where she is originally from.

Ashley Minh said family members had no idea they were filmed or that the video of them had gone viral until a few days later.

“My cousin texted me with the link to the video because it had shown up on her ‘For You Page’ on TikTok, and she was like, ‘What? Is that Alisa?’ … and then multiple people just kept sending it around our family,” she said.

The viral video has resulted in the business getting recognized online by people from all over the world, and Minh said the family has seen more locals in the metro area visit for the first time.

“In the last week, we have seen some more business and a lot of people coming in saying, ‘Oh, I saw you on TikTok’ or ‘I saw you on Facebook,’ which was really funny,” she said.

People have also commented on The Donut Hole’s Facebook page, asking about the possibility of having orders shipped nationwide. While this is not currently a possibility, Minh said it has been discussed among the family for the future.

She added that since the video’s surge in popularity over the last month, she and her family have been thankful for locals who have spread kind words about The Donut Hole online or visited in person to order from the shop.

“We run our business with just word of mouth, and we hear people say wonderful things about us — that we’ve got delicious donuts, that we’re so friendly, that we remember their orders and remember their kids and their faces,” Minh said. “It just warms our heart … and really shows that we are building such a nice, wonderful community.”