Shoe Away Hunger Program starts drive

Published 7:33 am Thursday, March 14, 2019

The Rock Solid 4-H Club will be hosting its annual shoe collection drive to help feed hungry Minnesotans this spring.

For every pair of new or gently-used shoes, the Shoe Away Hunger program will be able to sell them for $5, which is enough to feed one person with up to a week’s worth of essential groceries.

There will be multiple drop-off locations in Austin and the surrounding area. Donations of gently-used or new shoes are encouraged as those can be resold.

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Any type of shoe can be donated (excluding socks), through April 15, at the following locations:

Austin Locations

•Bethlehem Free Methodist Church (1500 4th Ave. SE)

•Faith Evangelical Free Church (1800 12th St. SW)

•Mower County 4-H Building (Mower County Fairgrounds)

•Queen of Angels Catholic Church (1001 Oakland Ave. E)

•Sterling Main Street (1305 1st Ave. SW)

•St. John’s Lutheran Church (1200 13th Ave. NW; Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. until noon)

Outside of Austin

•First Baptist Church (104 1st Ave. NE, Blooming Prairie)

•Little Cedar Lutheran Church (308 NW Lewison St., Adams)

Each year around spring, Rock Solid chooses dates for its shoe collection campaign. Members decorate large boxes as collection bins for drop sites and while they receive shoe donations. Members then sort shoes as resalable and non-resalable.

Every month, more than 7,000 hungry Twin Cities residents are fed with hot meals and essential groceries paid for by money raised through the resale of donated shoes. The Shoe Away Hunger Program started as a service project, and more than 4,000 Minnesotans were fed by the program.

Isaac Kubas started the shoe drive in 2013 with just the intention of fulfilling a badge requirement in AWANA. However, more members of Mower County’s Rock Solid 4-H Club adopted the shoe collection effort and got involved in 2014. It has since become an annual drive to collect shoes for the Shoe Away Program.