Veva Garcia

Veva García places tickets on car windshields as hundreds of cars lined Adams Street in Shakopee Sept. 17 for a food drive headed by Esperanza. On this particular evening, the food drive served 550 families and 2,005 individuals in an hour and a half.

Food drive volunteers

Friends Al Busch and Dough Noyes hand out fresh produce in the food drive line at New Creation Lutheran Church Sept. 17, which started as a small effort by community members this spring to help families struggling with COVID-19 job losses. Now, families can receive a week’s worth of healthy and quality food, from cabbage to assorted meat to milk.

Mary Hernandez food drive

Esperanza Director Mary Hernandez carries boxes at the Sept. 17 food drive at New Creation Lutheran Church in Shakopee. The boxes are placed in the trunks of cars as families drive away, Hernandez said. The Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community partners with Esperanza to compost any leftover or spoiled food. “I always tell my volunteers not to hand anything out that they wouldn’t buy themselves,” Hernandez said. 

Food drive volunteers

Shakopee Diversity Alliance member Anjali Thomas collects tickets at the end of the food drive with Red Oak Elementary first-grader Preston Hileman. About 50 volunteers worked the drive Sept. 17, and Esperanza Director Mary Hernandez said they still need more hands.

Barb Curry

Barb Curry hands out cereal to families in the food drive line at New Creation Lutheran Church Sept. 17, which started as a small effort by community members this spring to help families struggling with COVID-19 job losses. Now, it’s a full-blown operation with thousands of recipients in the no-questions-asked drive-through food drive. Groceries and volunteers come from the Sannah Foundation, Cub, HEART Response Team, Unidos MN and Shakopee Diversity Alliance.

Food drive Shakopee

The food drive headed by Esperanza doesn’t just hand out food. It also hands out cleaning supplies and first aid kits. “We want to cover everything,” Esperanza Director Mary Hernandez said.

Maddie DeBilzan graduated with a journalism degree from Bethel University. She’s interned at Salon Media and the St. Paul Pioneer Press. Outside of work, she sifts through Goodwill clothing racks, listens to Ben Rector's music and goes on long runs.

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