In 2004, a community food drive known as Freezin’ for Food was held in Redwood Falls for the first time.

Now in its 16th year, the annual event that collects items for area food shelf organizations has collected 335,000 pounds of food or the cash equivalent donated by the community.

Freezin’ for Food is again being held this year, with collection dates of Dec. 11-13 at Weelborg Ford in Redwood Falls and in other participating communities in the area. 

Items may be dropped off Wednesday and Thursday from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. and Friday from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m.

According to Tina Klinkner, who helps to coordinate the food shelf drive, the goal for this year is to collect 20,000 pounds of food or the cash equivalent, adding she is hopeful that in 2019 the donations that come in will break the record of 26,188 pounds that was collected in 2006.

While the community can shop or raid the cupboards for items, area grocery stores, including Tersteeg’s in Redwood Falls, Becker’s Super Valu in Morgan, B&D Market in Olivia and Salfer’s Food Center in Wabasso, will have prepackaged bags of food people can purchase for the food drive.

Donations that come in are equally distributed among area food shelf organizations, including the Redwood Area Food Shelf in Redwood Falls, WAFER in Wabasso, We Care in Morgan, the Lower Sioux Community Food Shelf and the Renville County Food Shelf in Olivia.

Cindy Mumme of the Redwood Area Food Shelf said there is a steady need for items at this time, adding anything that is donated will be a big help.

Mumme said support from events like Freezin’ for Food is always appreciated, adding the community has always been a huge supporter of the food shelf. She said the number of people who visit the food shelf has remained consistent.

Klinkner added the goal is to restock those area food shelf organizations, so they can help families in the area, including those with children, as well as a growing population of senior citizens who are utilizing food shelf assistance. Klinkner expressed her appreciation to the community for its support over the years.