By Marielle Mohs

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – When resources are cut, the community steps into help.

Neighbors in the Longfellow neighborhood put out a call for groceries on social media after their grocery stores burned down in this week’s riots. They originally asked for 80 bags of food, and on Sunday morning they received 25,000 bags — enough to fill up six trucks.

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Sanford Middle School Principal Amy Nelson turned the school parking lot into a collection site at 10 a.m. on Sunday. Their goal was to help their students who are food insecure from this week’s destruction, but their goal was quickly surpassed.

“Looking around I feel like we have enough food kits to possibly feed every kid in Minneapolis and more,” said  Jaberi Browne, a special education teacher at the school.

Browne says this movement is the first step towards recovery. “As an educator, knowing that our kids will be fed because of the stores being shut down, this heals my heart a lot,” said Browne.

To help organize and deliver all of the donations, Sanford Middle School partnered with The Sheridan Story, a nonprofit devoted to feeding children in the Twin Cities. The Sheridan Story provided trucks and staff members to help coordinate all the food donations and deliver food to those who need it.

“Honestly, I’m really emotional right now. I’m so thankful our neighbors are coming together, it’s the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen,” said Lauren, one of the volunteers who came out to help organize the donations.

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Sanford staff were so overwhelmed by the generosity that they decided to expand outside the Longfellow neighborhood, giving this food to families in Midway, north Minneapolis, Cedar Riverside, East Lake, and Little Earth.

While so many came to give, so many in need came to receive.

“We’re trying to get anything we can get right now,” said Quinton Lewis, who lost his grocery store to a fire. He showed up to get food for his girlfriend and 3-year-old daughter. Taking in this generosity is also part of his own healing process.

“It does make the situation better to make me feel like people really do have a heart, people really do care,” said Lewis.

If you would like to help donate food or give back during this tough time, click here.

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Those who need groceries or supplies like diapers, laundry detergent, or water can pick them up for free at:

Marielle Mohs