Sanford Middle School Principal Amy Nelson asked for 85 kits, and ended up with more than 30,000

By Rachel DeSantis
June 03, 2020 05:11 PM
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The Sheridan Story

A Minneapolis middle school principal wanted 85 food kits to help feed her hungry students — and what she got was enough to feed her entire community, and then some.

Sanford Middle School is located just blocks away from the Minneapolis Police Department’s 3rd Precinct building, which was burned by protesters on Thursday following the death of George Floyd while in police custody on May 25.

The ensuing protests that emerged did a number on the neighborhood, leaving many local stores looted and closed or burned down.

“The area has become a food desert for these families, many of whom don’t own a vehicle to drive elsewhere,” Principal Amy Nelson told the Washington Post.

With that in mind, Nelson put out a plea for help, and asked the community to donate food that could then be delivered to those in need.

The Sheridan Story

Within hours, the request had gone viral, and generous donors dropped off more than 30,000 food kits, the Today show reported.

“It’s not surprising. We live in a great city. And we have people who want to help, and there is a great need,” Nelson told WCCO. “The response has been overwhelming.”

Due to the influx of donations, Nelson reached out to The Sheridan Story, a local nonprofit organization that works to fight child hunger by providing a weekend’s supply of food to hungry kids.

The Sheridan Story

The organization stepped in over the weekend to provide the trucks, pallets and volunteers needed to help get the supplies into the hands of the people who need it the most.

“Accessibility to food is a huge issue for us right now,” Rosy Morales, a single mom whose son attends Sanford Middle School, told the Post. “Our normal grocery stores are either burned to the ground or they’ve been looted and closed. The food drive was definitely a big help for us.”

About 60 percent of the school’s students are eligible for free or reduced lunch, though local protests mean that school food services and public transportation are suspended across the city, according to the Post.

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With such an overwhelming amount of food now on hand, Nelson said that the kits will be made available to anyone who needs it in neighboring communities.

“[It’s] an overwhelming sense of gratitude,” she told Today. “I mean, this is what Minneapolis does. This is an example of folks coming together, and I hope that we continue to do this to improve the race relations we have in our community and in our country.”

Minneapolis and other cities across the United States have been the sites of protests in recent days following the death of Floyd, 46, who was seen on video crying out for help as now-former police officer Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck for several minutes as three other officers looked on.

Chauvin has since been charged with second-degree murder as Americans continue to protest police brutality and systemic racism in the U.S.

To help combat systemic racism, consider learning from or donating to these organizations:

• Campaign Zero (joincampaignzero.org) which works to end police brutality in America through research-proven strategies.

ColorofChange.org works to make government more responsive to racial disparities.

• National Cares Mentoring Movement (caresmentoring.org) provides social and academic support to help black youth succeed in college and beyond.