NEW HOPE, Minn. (WCCO) — Christmas came early for a Twin Cities food bank struggling to keep up with the growing number of hungry families this holiday season.

The Emergency Foodshelf Network in New Hope stocks and serves more than 230 food pantries in Minnesota.

“We are running leaner than we have probably run in years,” said Executive Director Lori Kratchmer, who says this year donations are down at least 20 percent. “Across all suburbs around the metro area so, it’s really broad, the need, and it continues to be greater and greater.”

But Wednesday, a Christmas miracle arrived in a plain white envelope. Up front, administrative assistant Carol Deters opens up the mail. She just had a hunch.

“I said, I just love these mysterious envelopes because you never know what little goody you are going to find on the inside. And we opened it up and it was a check for $40,000,” Deters said.

Deters says $40,000 can purchase 37,600 meals.

“I was just so excited and we were running around and yelling, needed it,” she said.

There was no note, and when the staff tried to call the person whose name was on the check, the number was unlisted. The donor wanted to remain anonymous.

“I think I’d be lying if I said we weren’t jumping up and high fiving after receiving such a generous gift like that,” said Kratchmer. “So we put our faith in the community and they really come through for us.”

A new report out this week shows many Minnesotans are still struggling this holiday season.

Hunger Solutions Minnesota says currently the number of people visiting emergency food shelves is up 62 percent since the economy crashed in 2008.

That’s 1-in-5 families going hungry over the holidays and all year long. In September of 2010, Minnesota had 454,513 people enrolled in food support programs, which is a 66-percent increase since September of 2008.

The Emergency Foodshelf Network staff says like many food banks and food pantries all across Minnesota, they still need donations.

They can buy more food with cash donations, but also accept donations from food drives. Visit their website for more information.

WCCO-TV’s Lindsey Seavert Reports

Comments (102)
  1. Yahoo User says:

    Is the check going to be cleared?

    1. Kelly says:

      Really? What a negative comment.

    2. Adrian says:

      Read your comment 15 more times, analyzing what you just wrote after each pass. Think about it and Merry Christmas.

      1. kelly says:

        I have…Several times…I have paid for people gas…I have paid for people behind me in line at a restaurant~ I have even paid for the person sitting next to me at Perkins. SO now…Adrian…It is your turn.

      2. Adrian says:

        Kelly, my comment was for Yahoo User. Sorry, should have specified. It’s the way replies get sequenced.

    3. Jack says:

      I remember last Christmas time some one donated a bogus check for $25,000 to the Salvation Army. So this comment makes perfect, pessimistic, since

  2. Anna says:

    What a great deed for this time of year. My hat goes off to the donor!!

    1. Mary says:

      For this time of year? Shouldn’t people help one another all year long.

      1. Woodsman says:

        Why do you throw water on this story? People most certainly help one another all year long. If you don’t see that perhaps you aren’t paying attention. Your attitude is akin to the spoiled child who when shown all that she has been given replies, “Yes, but what have you done for me TODAY?”

        In the Big Karmic Picture a little gratitude goes a long way. The great folks at the food bank appreciated the gift, as I’m sure many hungry people will. You should try, in your own way, to celebrate, or even perhaps carry on the generosity of the person who left the gift, instead of using the occasion to find fault with people.

        Merry Christmas.

  3. Lynn says:

    ‘Thanks’ for the gift 🙂 This is my prayer. I would like to see hundreds of community gardens pop up this spring.

  4. Kelly says:

    Love stories like this…PAY IT FORWARD!!!!!

    1. Chris.Go says:

      You pay it forward then I will.

      1. Kelly says:

        I have…Several times…I have paid for people gas…I have paid for people behind me in line at a restaurant~ I have even paid for the person sitting next to me at Perkins. SO now…Adrian…It is your turn.

  5. Wally says:

    There is still hope for humanity. We walk among those who are truely out to help others. It makes me smile.

  6. MST says:

    This story brought a smile to my face. It’s a shame that some people are so negative!

  7. The Bert says:

    The donor wants to remain anonymous but they will certainly be taking the deduction on their schedule A. You must have missed the part of the story where they, the food bank, tried to call the donor but the number was unlisted. The cashed check is the donor’s receipt.

    1. Kelly says:

      The Bert…Thank you for explaining this so wonderfully. Why can’t people just see the wonderful jester this person has made. Why do they have to make it so negitive?

    2. CJ says:

      It could be that he will take the deduction. But if he is ever audited by the IRS, the deduction will be denied. Any charitable contribution over $250 MUST be documented by a receipt from the recipient. A canceled check won’t work.

    3. Mr. Doctor says:

      You are aware that the deduction earned would be a small fraction of that 40k right? No you are not aware of that I can sense your level of intellect through comment.

  8. YES WE CON! YES WE CON! says:


  9. Kelly says:

    Hank…You are an idiot. What the heck are you talking about. Do you even know what you are posting about.
    Money is money. Cash the check~people eat. isn’t that what it is really about. It is Christmas time. Get off your political band wagon and get a heart.

    What on earth does impeaching Obama have to do with any of this? Loser

  10. patches12 says:

    This person has a blessig coming…..all I can say is “wow”!

  11. patches12 says:

    I would like to shake that person’s hand. Rich people are just like everyone else and unless you are super wealthy, 40K is still some real money!

  12. TANGAIR says:

    No way I can match 40K, but I sure can’t think of a better thing to do with my 50$ in beer money!

    1. supportefn says:

      Everyone has a chance to support the Emergency Foodshelf Network by spending their beer money on Finnegans beer ( – the company is currently donating a portion of their profits to EFN and has chosen the Emergency Foodshelf Network as their charity of the year for 2011.

  13. Sean Patriot says:

    I knew people could make it without “Obama’s Stash”

  14. Lee Yarbrough says:


    You keep posting your nonsense on every “happy” article you can find. You been hanging out on Drudge to long. Get over it, it is the holiday season and some people take care of the others and don’t depend on the government. Take your nonsense someplace else already.

    Hopefully someone will do something good for you and you won’t slap them in the face for it.

    Happy Holidays to you Hank and all others in this world.


    Yes We Can Build a


  16. Lenny says:

    Why do these stories only come around during this time, when Canada has stories like this running for 80-percent of their news all the time. Also they are safer and more peaceful… Conspiracy?

    1. Carlos says:

      SO move to Canada, American hater.

  17. Charles1957b says:

    Just awesome. What a wonderful person. We can all learn a lot from this, if we will simply listen.

  18. Patrick Hume says:

    This guy wasted his money. He should have used that $40,000 to start a business, which would have helped many more people in the long run. He bought a big bucket of fish, instead of buying a bunch of fishing rods. What a shame.

    1. Dan B. says:

      What a SHAME that one can be so cynical and calloused and make a mockery of this generous contribution. I wonder what Patrick the COMPASSIONATE one has contributed this year to help the less fortunate. Bah HUMBUG! Have a Merry Christmas Patrick.

    2. rj says:

      suppose he already owns a business that employs 300 people????

    3. tori bennett says:

      You make a good point. We are creating a country of welfare recipients instead of teaching them to make their own food and provide for themselves. The 40 grand will soon be depleted and these people will be back in the same boat-we havent improved things at all.

      1. Tracy says:

        I do hope there will more generous donors like him or her all year round .

      2. Kelly says:

        Tori…Have you ever been hungry? have you ever not had a bed to sleep in? Have you ever felt like there would be no tomorrow? This is how these people feel everyday. Do you really think that these people enjoy being at a shelter or living in a car? What is with the WE part of “we have not improved things at all”? Have you ever helped anyone? It doesn’t sound like it. It sounds like you think that these people are well deserving of what they have. I do know that there are a VERY few that do not deserve this…but really- think of all of the Children that go hungry every night. This $40,000 can help them at least get a hot meal. What a selfish person you are. I really feel more sorry for you than I do for those people that need that hot meal. Open your heart a little bit.

  19. Bobo says:

    That my friends, is charity NOT wealth redistribution! This is the type of altruism that made America great…NOT the Government mandating what is a person’s “Fair share” of what someone else worked hard for.

    Hat’s off to the donor DEINITELY a CAPITALIST and NOT a Socialist POS!

  20. HappyJourneys says:

    and if it takes those tax deduction incentives to motivate these donations… Then so be it…

  21. Mauricio Villablanca says:

    Judos to the generous person who gave the money.

    Here’s hoping the staff of the food bank will put it to good use.

    Menawhile in Washington a thug is taking money from us all as much as he can.

  22. Bill says:

    How in a country as great as ours do one in five familes go an entire year hungry? WHAT A FANTASTIC STORY TO HEAR!

  23. rob says:

    See how generous people can be when the government doesn’t take their money. people can make the best decisions where to donate money not the government!

  24. AFSGTSAM says:

    I thought all these people were on foodstamps so why do they need these food closets? This is a serious question.

    1. Mimi_Kim says:

      Not everyone who needs assistance qualifies, There is a population known as working poor. They make too much money to qualify for assistance, yet still hover around the poverty level. Many single individuals do not qualify for food stamps. Additionally, food stamps is an assistance and is limited in item and amount (which I have no comment on), needles to say, it is not a cure (nor should be considered one) for food security.


    “We Are The Ones We’ve Been Waiting For” –


  26. Vik says:

    Who cares about tax deductions???? So what, let me ask you , what have you done??? Thats what I thought you stupid liberals.

  27. Hydra says:

    Do any of you know any food bank users? Most are not hungry and I have seen many pull up to the food givaway in new trucks, filling the whole bed with free food. They throw away whatever they don’t care for. This happens twice monthly across the street from my cabin in N.CA. They have no shame, but feel they are smarter than the dummies who do this for them.

  28. Sara Jansen says:

    “Deters says $40,000 can purchase 37,600 meals”
    I am sorry, i am not a mathmatician but it seems like 40 grand could buy more than 37 thousand meals, just sayin……

    1. Tracy Collado-Detrick says:

      LIke a $1.50 a meal. how much do you think food cost. i cant figure it out exactly cause i am no wizard at math but do you think food is free???

      1. Angela Thornton Canny says:

        40,000/37600 = 1.06 per meal. You are right – it is a very reasonable cost.

    2. Angela Thornton Canny says:

      Really? I’m not a mathematician either, but I do have a head for numbers.

      It’s only slightly over $1.00 per meal. Seems reasonable to me.

    3. Delina says:

      Wow…I spend $1.50 for an Americano everyday and it has no nutritional value.

      A $1.06 for a nutritious meal is pretty darn cheap.

      What kind of meals are you talking about Sara?

  29. Mr. Doctor says:

    Some of newly hired Obama IRS Gestapo needs to hunt this guy down and confiscate some wealth. If he is giving this much away then just imagine what can be taxed out of him.

    1. eb says:

      Mr. Doctor, maybe he wanted to donate so he wouldn’t be taxed on it. He would rather give the whole $40000 to a charity, rather than keep $25000 and give the rest to the government.

  30. tim in SD says:

    Bert…..most true Christians will not disclose their name when they tithe. To be praised by man for their gift takes away from the true reason giving. You give to give, not be recognized for giving. And why shouldn’t he get a tax deduction? It is much deserved if you ask me. If he gave $40K to the government to distributed about $5K of the $40K would actually get distributed. Government is one big overhead racket that skims a lot of the top for “administrative fees”.

  31. jschmidt says:

    New Hope certainly has the right name. Great story that gives everyone hope.



  33. Barb says:

    Woo Hoo I love this story!

  34. usereason says:

    how in the heck can they claim the donor wished to be anonymous if they donated with a check with his/her name on it?

    1. tim in SD says:

      With a note inside saying “please keep my name anonymous”…..stupid.

  35. Fascist Nation says:

    Perhaps the local police should seize the money. It is obviously drug money. Nobody has that kind of money except drug dealers. Arrest the loot under RICO and spend it on some deserving government project at the police station. You got the guns and the will to do what your were meant to do.

    1. Mr. Doctor says:

      You could have saved us some time and just wrote,”HERP DERP DER HERP!”

      1. Tracy Collado-Detrick says:

        Awesome Mr. Doctor. So true. What the heck were they talking about. Sound like wha wha wha wha

    2. Tracy Collado-Detrick says:

      youre a wack job. what are you talking about?

  36. Heartland Patriot says:

    There was an episode of MASH where the rich doctor, Charles Winchester III, donates to an orphanage…and he said the most important part was that the gift remain anonymous, so as to be a pure thing and not about making someone a name for themselves. I guess it must be one of those few things on TV that has some truth to it.

  37. eb says:

    so, it about $1.06 per meal.

  38. AngryInSoCal says:

    For those of you who have negated this awesome gift of generosity, hear this:
    2 Timothy 3:1-5

    1 But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come.
    2 For men will be LOVERS OF SELF, LOVERS OF MONEY, boastful,
    REVILERS, disobedient to parents, UNGRATEFUL, unholy,
    3 UNLOVING, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, BRUTAL, HATERS OF GOOD,
    4 treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God,
    5 holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; AVOID SUCH MEN AS THESE.

    1. Faith says:

      It is good to remember this and it does seem like the last days; God only knows when the last day is however. In the mean time, people need to work, eat and grow. Lets all pray that more jobs become available. Everyone reach to God with all their hearts cause he is watching and listening. I am certain there is a lesson to be learned here.

  39. Ohiowordguy says:

    No doubt this generous gift was given by some evil, uncaring rich person.

    Hey…wait a minute…you mean all rich people aren’t greedy, selfish summbeeches? But Obama, Pelosi and Reid said they were! Oh! Who to believe!

  40. Jason says:

    Thanks goodness this country still allows “rich people” (sort of). Without them, there wouildn’t be much charity…….or jobs.

  41. FreeFood says:

    Free Meals:

    Earn Money and Free Food, it is a solution.

  42. cookinglawman says:

    May God bless the giver and may God continue to bless the United States of America, her allies, and citizens. Merry Christmas!!

  43. kyginny says:

    well, I just have to post something I have not heard anyone say. I am a food bank person. We are very responsible people. Through no fault of our own we lost everything. We live with our son now and his 3 children, our grandson. We get food stamps but it does not feed us all. We just lost our unemployment after 6 months. I stood in the cold for 5 hours waiting in line for this help. It was snowing too. I never thought I would have to do that. My husband looks every day for a job, he is 58 in the computer industry. They don’t want you at 58. We spent our retirement money paying off our debts. Now I have to rely on help from others. My son finally got a good job after 1 yr of looking. Don’t look your nose down at us. We are grandparents, we worked for years, now it is all gone. I pray every day for a job. I don’t like standing in a food line. But I do it so our family can eat. We don’t waste a bite of food we get. We are diabetics and need food to live. Please don’t put us down, pray we all get jobs.

    1. Delina says:

      Do you have the desire to get off food stamps?

      Earn Money and Free Food, it is a solution.

    2. Everyone pray says:

      Don’t lose your faith. Keep turning to God in prayer cause God hears you. I will pray with you that everyone will find jobs.

    3. Bill says:

      Well you obviously own a computer, and pay for internet access, and if i was desolate and without employment, then they would probably be the first things to go.

      1. A cry for help says:

        Bill there is different degrees of poverty and no doubt some have fallen off the grid already. Count your blessing cause some are just one step away. Read carefully and please don’t shut out the voices of the people who are trying to inform us.

    4. Sweet Jesus Save us! says:

      To make a person stand in line for 5 hours in the snow to get food is evil!

  44. luckyturquoise says:

    I would like to see a lot those over payed pigs in Wahington in the house and senate share some of the mega dough they have made off the American public, do the same thing. DONATE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  45. Jim says:

    Another example of those naughty, wicked rich people again I see. Geeze, $40k there, $15k where I live, $100K in Joplin Missouri, etc etc. Woo do these people think they are helping out the poor.

    /sarcasm off.

  46. amplitude jones says:

    PLEASE! Do NOT feed the democrats!!

  47. ML says:

    Notice, it was a gift….not confiscated by the government!!!!!!

  48. Forrest says:

    I used to work for and donate to the Local Food Bank but started seeing who benefited by it. Obese, lazy deadbeats who acted like they were entitled to everything (except a job) without any personal responsibility. I quit working there and certainly quit wasting my dollars on these leeches. DON’T GIVE TO ANY FOOD BANK…they are so concerned about not being PC they’ll give food to anyone….even if they pull up in a Mercedes. I’ve see it. Look elsewhere to put your dollars…

    1. Minnesota says:

      I know this is a cliche’ one bad apples spoils the whole batch. Listen, this was not my experience. Just the opposite. My baby and I found ourselves in a hard place so we called a church who was advertising that they had a food shelve. I called and asked if I could come and get some food she said, ‘go away I don’t know you!’ Next I went to the town food shelve. I was the only one in the line. My baby and I sat there as long as we could and the person behind the desk just smirked at my baby and me so we left hungry. I called a crisis line she said, ‘ go away there is no room for you here.’ This was in the 1980’s. Sorry to hear, things have swung the other way.